NEW YORK — A New York City store owner is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, accusing state and city leaders of failing to send in law enforcement to respond to the rioting that recently occurred, according to the attorney handling the case.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Domus Design Center, an interior design business located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, also names Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea as co-defendants.
“Basically, the city and state government owe a duty to the individual storefronts to protect them,” attorney Sal Strazzullo said Friday, Fox News reported.
“My law firm believes [that] through depositions, through discovery we’re going to be able to find that the city or state had intelligence in regards to these criminals that looted these stores and didn’t do anything about it,” he added.
Strazzullo continued, “The lackeys that are politically appointed in the NYPD probably were told to stand down and basically it is a travesty.”
Moreover, the attorney believes more businesses will join as plaintiffs to make it a class-action lawsuit, seeking more than $100 million in damages.
The NYPD Lieutenants Benevolent Association on Tuesday slammed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other leaders for labeling the department “incompetent” and siding with “peaceful protesters,” despite a video showing a protester hitting a lieutenant on the back of his head with a brick amid riots and looting.
In a letter sent to NYPD lieutenants and obtained by Fox News, association president Lou Turco said politicians have been blaming law enforcement for “all the societal ills realistically created by their misdirected and hollow civic policies” while officers are being attacked.
Furthermore, the correspondence took direct aim at Cuomo, with Turco writing: “How dare you call the members of the NYPD incompetent, when it is your misguided policies that have created an environment where police cannot police and you provide additional incentives to those who want to destroy society and commit crimes against people, law enforcement and property.”
The NYPD Police Benevolent Association (PBA) later released a video clip of the lieutenant getting hit, which it claimed preceded him drawing his weapon on the crowd.
Strazzullo asserts that more businesses will likely join the legal action.
“The past three-four days since after we filed the lawsuit, other general counsels … I’m not going to name any names at the moment because they have not been retained, have reached out,” Strazzullo said.
“Of course the city and state owe us a duty, this is why we pay our real estate taxes that go to the NYPD, that go to the state troopers. Where were the state troopers?” Strazzullo said.
In a statement that appeared to implicate the governor along with local leaders for civil liability, the lawyer mentioned the lack of involvement on the part of state troopers.
“I don’t know if you drive around the city or walk around the city, New York state troopers are giving out tickets for like seatbelts and for noncriminal things. They’re all over. When the looting happened, where were they?”