THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) – As mourners said goodbye to Eric Duprey in the Bronx Thursday night, activists stood outside the Ortiz Funeral Home demanding action and accountability for the 30-year-old’s police-involved death.
“There’s no reason a police officer should pick up a cooler and crush someone’s skull with it,” said Hawk Newsome, founder of BLM of New York.
Last Wednesday, Duprey was targeted in a drug takedown by undercover NYPD cops in University Heights, according to police. As he attempted to ride off on his scooter, police said Sgt. Erik Duran threw a picnic cooler at him, causing him to fall and die.
The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide from blunt force injuries to the head.
“What could be in a police officer’s mind at that moment, to feel it would be OK to pick up a cooler and throw it at someone?” asked Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
While Mayor Eric Adams has offered no comment, Williams flat out called it murder: “Murdered by people [who] taxpayers pay for a level of protection.”
Duprey’s wife has hired attorney Jonathan Roberts as they pursue justice.
“The family deserves to be compensated,” Roberts said.
Roberts noted Duran was previously found to have violated department rules last year, which was confirmed by city records as an abuse of authority during a stop.
“Yet he was [allowed] to continue on the streets,” Roberts said. “Ultimately he killed somebody.”
A spokesperson for the New York Attorney General’s Office said Thursday that there was no update regarding the ongoing Investigation.
Andrew Quinn, Duran’s attorney, told PIX11 in a statement:
There is much more to this situation than the brief, ten second video clip shows.
What is indisputably clear is that the deceased, who was intent on evading arrest for selling drugs to an undercover officer, was speeding on a motorbike in an incredibly dangerous manner down a crowded sidewalk, jeopardizing the life and safety of everyone there. Once a full and complete investigation is conducted, we are fully confident that Sgt. Duran will be exonerated of any misconduct or wrongdoing.Andrew Quinn
An NYPD spokesperson reiterated the department’s statement from last week, pledging a complete and transparent inquiry.