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Bronx man’s funeral spurs rallying cry for murder charge in picnic cooler death



Over a hundred people gathered Thursday to remember Eric Dupley, the Bronx man killed after he was knocked off a scooter when police say an NYPD sergeant hurled a picnic cooler at him.

The funeral was held one week after the 30-year-old died as he attempted to flee an alleged drug sale, as detailed by the NYPD. They have accused Duprey of trying to sell narcotics to an undercover officer on Aug. 23 in University Heights.

Family and friends who gathered in the Bronx to remember Duprey are also demanding further action against the suspended sergeant who police say knocked the man to the ground. Many attending the funeral in the Grand Concourse section shared their pain and anger as family awaits the result of the New York attorney general’s investigation.

Surveillance video show the moments Duprey zig-zagged down the street and then onto the sidewalk toward officers, attempting to get away from police. That’s when police said Sergeant Eric Duran, wearing plain street clothes, grabbed a cooler and threw it at Duprey.

He was pronounced dead at the scene on Aqueduct Avenue. The city’s medical examiner ruled Duprey’s death a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma to his head.

“There’s no reason that a police officer should pick up a cooler and crush someone’s skull with it,” Hawk Newsome, with BLM Greater New York, said Thursday.


Duran is now under investigation as police and state officials look into how the afternoon encounter led to Duprey’s death.

“No one can say that anything was happening, anyone’s life was in danger, nothing, nothing that can even begin to say there was a reason that makes sense,” Public Advocate Jumanne Williams said at the funeral.

Law enforcement sources have said Duprey had two prior arrests for felony assault and drugs.

Duran, a 13-year veteran of the department, joined the Bronx Narcotics Unit last September. He has been recognized by the department dozens of times for what it deems excellent and meritorious police service, according to a police personnel database.

Duran’s disciplinary record includes a substantiated complaint last year for abusing his authority during a stop, according to the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board.

“It’s our position that what Sgt. Duran did was completely out of bounds. And the family deserves to be compensated for that, especially because the city had notice of how Sgt. Duran was prior to this and they put him back on the street to do it again,” the family’s attorney, Jonathan Roberts, said.

The NYPD tweeted out a brief statement confirming the sergeant’s suspension one day after the fatal encounter.


“The NYPD is committed to ensuring that there will be a full, thorough, and transparent investigation of this incident to determine the facts and to take the appropriate steps forward,” the statement concluded.

Source: NBC New York

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