Today: Prayer And March Demanding Justice for Reynaldo Cuevas

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Reynaldo Cuevas

Family, friends and loved ones of Reynaldo Cuevas, a Bronx robbery victim shot and killed by a police officer who mistook him for one of the robbers, will join civil rights advocates and the community-at-large, to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the tragic incident that claimed the life of the 20-year-old father.

In a mass to be held on Monday, September 7th, 12 noon, at St. Elizabeth's Church, 268 Wadsworth Avenue in Upper Manhattan, followed by a march at 4:00pm at 1299 Franklin Avenue in The Bronx, where the shooting took place, they will renew their call for justice.

Three years have passed since September 7th, 2012, the day that Cuevas, a law-abiding father of a three-year old daughter, was robbed at gunpoint by three suspects who entered the grocery store where he worked at, on Franklin Avenue.  As the suspects fled through the back of the store, Cuevas and a coworker ran for protection to the street, toward the safety of arriving police officers.

Officer Ramysh Bangali, gun drawn, shot Cuevas on the sidewalk. The actual shooting was caught on surveillance cameras.

The three suspects were apprehended at the scene, and now face multiple charges including second degree murder.

But in three years, the family's quest for justice has been painful and slow: the officer who pulled the trigger has not yet faced disciplinary action; the real robbers in the case have not yet faced trial; and, the City's Corporation Counsel continues to challenge a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family, regardless of the Mayor's and the City Comptroller's promise to settle all cases that involve innocent victims of police shootings.

"Everyday we have to ask ourselves, how come there is no justice?" said Nicole Cuevas, 21, Reynaldo's sister.  "Do all lives really matter? We won't rest until the robbery suspects, Officer Bengali, and the City of New York, are held accountable".

The family is calling on the City's Department of Law, the Bronx District Attorney's Office, and other agencies, to move the lawsuit and criminal cases, respectively, forward, so a federal inquiry into violations of Reynaldo's civil rights could proceed.

Even with wide acknowledgement of the City's and the police officer's responsibility documented on record, the family remains waiting. Cuevas is survived by his now 6-year-old daughter.

"No family should ever go through what my family is going through", said Ana Cuevas, Reynaldo's mother.  "I call on everyone to join us on Monday, September 7th.  It is Labor Day according to the yearly calendar, but for us, it is a sad reminder of our son, who died seeking help from those who were meant to protect him, while being robbed at the workplace".  

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