City to Pay $2 Million Settlement to Family of Man Killed by Cop Car

NEW YORK - MAY 26:  Pedestrians in Times Square walk past a police car May 26, 2004 in New York City. The U.S. fears that al Qaeda may be plotting an attack inside the country or against U.S. interests abroad. Despite these warnings, the government has no plans to raise the terror threat level and has no details on when, where or how an attack might occur.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2004 Getty Images

New York City has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of Tamon Robinson, a 27-year-old who died after a 2012 collision with a cop car. According to the NYPD officers involved in the incident, Robinson ran into their stopped cruiser after they caught him stealing paving stones from a Canarsie housing project, causing him to fall backwards and suffer a fatal head injury. Witnesses had a more plausible-seeming account of what happened: The police ran over Robinson as they were chasing him. Either way, the NYPD sent Robinson's mother, Laverne Dobbinson, a $710 bill for the damage her dead son's body did to their vehicle, though they later made the tasteful decision to retract the charge. 

"We believe this is a fair and reasonable settlement," said a Law Department spokesperson, of the $2 million payout. However, a lawyer for Dobbinson, Scott Rynecki, reminded the New York Daily News that the family still wants to see the cops face criminal charges in Robinson's death. "More important to this family than the settlement is to see these police officers held criminally accountable," he said. Dobbinson herself added, "I want these officers dealt with, they killed my son." Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes opened an investigation into the crash shortly after it happened, but, so far, the inquiry hasn't led to any consequences for the NYPD.