A man in the Bronx died after a police sergeant threw a cooler at him, causing him to fall off his motorbike. The sergeant, Erik Duran, has been suspended without pay and an investigation by the state attorney general’s office is underway. The incident occurred during an operation to catch drug dealers, where the man, Eric Duprey, sold narcotics to undercover officers. After the sale, Duprey got on his motorbike and tried to escape, driving on sidewalks and towards a group of people sitting at a table. It was then that Sergeant Duran threw a cooler at him, causing the motorbike to skid. Mr. Duprey was pronounced dead shortly after.
The police department has stated that the city’s medical examiner will determine the cause of death, and the state attorney general’s office will lead the investigation into the incident. The police are preparing for potential public backlash, as revealed in an internal memo obtained by The Times. Sergeant Duran, a 13-year veteran of the department, has been suspended for 30 days. Mr. Duprey’s wife expressed her grief and called for justice, stating that officers are supposed to protect people, not harm them.
A memorial has been set up near the location of the incident, with candles, flowers, and photographs of Mr. Duprey and his family. His wife, Orlyanis Velez, revealed that she has not yet told their young children about their father’s death. The Police Department has pledged to cooperate with the attorney general’s investigation and stressed their commitment to a thorough and transparent investigation.