The Buffalo Police Department is at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit.
The suit was filed by the mother of 26-year-old Jose Hernandez-Rossy, who was shot and killed after a fight with Buffalo police in May.
Court documents, filed in Buffalo Federal Court, explain the case against Buffalo Police Officers Joe Acquino and Justin Tedesco, who shot and killed Hernandez-Rossy.
The family of Hernandez-Rossy has filed a civil rights violation lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit against the Buffalo Police Department, the two officers, the City of Buffalo, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda and American Medical Response.
7 Eyewitness News has reached out to the Buffalo Police Department regarding the lawsuits and is waiting on a response.
Court documents allege that Hernandez-Rossy was unlawfully pulled over on Garfield Street on May 7, 2017, at around 5 p.m. by Tedesco and Acquino. It says both officers were known to Hernandez-Rossy, and rushed the vehicle forcefully and entered the driver’s door of the car.
According to the documents, Hernandez-Rossy was startled and terrified by the officers’ actions and tried to drive away, but Acquino grabbed the wheel, causing the car to become out of control and crash.
Family states that Hernandez-Rossy was grabbed by the neck and forced out of the car, dragged onto the sidewalk, beat and pistol-whipped. They say when he was able to get to his feet and run away, Tedesco fired several shots at Hernandez-Rossy’s back, causing his death.
Buffalo Police and the Buffalo Police Union have maintained that Tedesco heard a loud gunshot sound through the scuffle, and thought his partner had been shot.
According to police, that is enough justification to use deadly force, but the union has said Tedesco never saw a gun displayed and a gun was never recovered from the scene.
The case is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office.
The autopsy report for Hernandez-Rossy has never been made public.