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Brooklyn Mother Files $20M Lawsuit Against New York City, NYPD Cop Who Fatally Shot Her Son

First Posted: Aug 19, 2015 01:32 PM EDT

Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Brooklyn mother has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the New York City and a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer over the death of her son, who was fatally shot by police in 2014.

In the suit, Denise Elliott-Owens claims that her son died from surgery complications five days after he was shot in the back by cops. She also claims that NYPD officers purposefully interfered with her son's recovery. Now she is suing the city and the NYPD sergeant who was wounded in the shooting for $20 million, according to The New York Daily News.

Officials say that the victim, 22-year-old Na'im Owens, was on parole for a gun conviction on Aug. 31, 2014, when he exchanged gunfire with cops in Bedford Stuyvesant. A law enforcement source also says that Owens was caught firing at police on a surveillance video and that a gun was recovered.

However, Elliott-Owens argues that her son was unarmed when he was shot and that an officer was hit by friendly fire.

Elliott-Owens also lost her 18-year-old son, Khiel Coppin, to police fire in October 2007 inside of the family's Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. The incident occurred after the mother called police to get help for her "mentally disturbed son."

The police said they opened fired because Coppin yelled, "I've got a gun." However, he had been holding a black hairbrush.

According to Elliott-Owens, cops began harassing Owens after they killed Coppin due to the media backlash over the shooting.

"Naim Owens was harassed by New York City police officers as retaliation for the public outcry over his brother's death," the federal lawsuit alleges.

"Many citizens felt there was no rational excuse for shooting 20 times an unarmed man with his hands up in the air and then handcuffing him on the ground after he was seriously injured," the 17-page complaint Elliott-Owens filed Friday noted, reports the Courthouse News Service.

"The public outcry" over Coppin's death led police to retaliate against Elliott-Owen's other son, Na'im, before they finally shot him, according to the complaint

Elliott-Owens added that officers "intentionally interfered with his physical recovery from his wounds" to cover up their excessive use of force.

"Members of the Plaintiff's decedent's family were present when Police Officers intentionally interfered with his physical recovery from his wounds for several reasons, including retaliation for media attention concerning the murder of his brother, Khiel Coppin, and to cover up the use of force that occurred on August 31, 2015," the suit read, reports The New York Post.

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