Alexis Villafana was the girlfriend of 26-year-old Duane Browne. Villafana and Browne also have an 8-year-old child in common. The third-grader’s name is Dasai Browne.
In January 12, 2012, Duane Browne was inside his house in East New York. He lived in the same house with his brother, Dale Ogarro, though Ogarro occupied a basement apartment. Duane Browne heard noise coming from inside Ogarro’s basement apartment.
So, Duane went to Ogarro’s apartment. There, he saw that two masked men were physically hurting Ogarro. Duane Browne then ran upstairs and retrieved “a loaded .38-caliber revolver, which cops later said was unregistered.”
When Duane Browne ran outside with the gun, the cops arrived. Duane Browne did not know that they were police officers. Shortly after the police officers arrived, Duane Browne was shot in the chest. Duane then went back upstairs and told Villafana to call the cops.
An ambulance arrived at 10:56 p.m., but paramedics did not take Duane Browne to Brookdale University Hospital until seven minutes later. The family claims that the police prevented paramedics from giving Duane Browne proper medical treatment immediately after the ambulance arrived at the scene. Instead, police officers searched Duane Browne’s home for incriminating evidence. A few hours after Duane Browne arrived at the hospital, he died.
The family filed a lawsuit against the city for $10 million, claiming that the police officers shot Duane Browne after mistakenly believing that he was an armed robber.
Police officers and those who witnessed the shooting claim that the police officers told Duane Browne to “‘Freeze.’” The lawsuit, however, alleges that the police officers shot Duane Browne “without identifying themselves or saying a word.”
Ironically, Duane Browne studied to become part of the New York Police Department (NYPD). His relatives indicate that Duane Browne had just successfully completed the written part of the NYPD entrance exam.