Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will hire an independent expert to investigate the death of a man fatally struck by a police car — an indication the prosecutor has doubts about the NYPD explanation of the incident.
The initial police report after Tamon Robinson, 27, was killed a run-in with the squad car last April claimed there were no witnesses. Hynes’ office has since interviewed multiple witnesses, the Daily News has learned.
Now an independent accident reconstruction expert is expected to examine other possible inconsistencies, such as whether the sizable dent in the squad car is consistent with the police report account that Robinson struck a parked vehicle.
Last month, The News exclusively reported Robinson’s mother suffered the indignity of receiving a $710 bill — addressed to her son — for the damage his body caused the vehicle.
The results of the expert report will help determine whether the DA pursues a case against the NYPD and the officers driving the death car.
“It’s clear they don’t feel comfortable about the (NYPD) investigation,” said a police source not directly involved in the case.
“We have spoken to all of the witnesses and we believe we need an outside accident reconstruction expert, which we are in the process of doing,” said D.A. spokesman Jerry Schmetterer, declining to comment further.
Robinson was killed last April after he fled from cops, who caught him removing paving stones from the Bayview Houses. The official accident report states the police car was stopped on a footpath when Robinson “did run into” the side of the vehicle, causing him to fall backward and strike his head on the ground.
But multiple witnesses have come forward claiming Robinson was mowed down by a cop car chasing him down the footpath.
“I heard the cops say over their loudspeaker, ‘Stop f—— running!’ and that made me jump to the window,” said neighbor Zina Callahan, adding she was interviewed by prosecutors about what she heard and saw from her third-floor window.
“The cop car sped up and hit him,” she said. “I screamed. He went up in the air.”
Such testimony will be crucial in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last Wednesday by Robinson’s mother, Laverne Dobbinson, against the city, the NYPD, Officer Volkan Uretener and Sgt. Miguel Cueto.
“It is clear what the witnesses saw happen is totally inconsistent with what the police say in their report,” said lawyer Sanford Rubenstein.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not respond to a request for comment. A Law Department spokeswoman said the papers had not been received but will be reviewed thoroughly.