Doris Busch Boskey
September 10, 2004
Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. of United States District Court in Brooklyn overturned a jury verdict that had cleared the city of liability in the 1999 police shooting of Gidone Busch. The judge said that leaving the verdict in place “would result in a miscarriage of justice.” Now Doris Busch Boskey and her family are free to pursue a new trial seeking damages from the city for the shooting.
Doris Busch Boskey was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Somehow, finally, maybe justice will be done. People will see that my son was not lunging, was not attacking.” (Excerpted in part from New York Times article, September 10, 2004)
Doris Busch Boskey is waiting for a decision from the Civilian Complaint Review Board concerning her case. She continues to speak out about the cover-up, evidence tampering and demonization that went on in Gary’s case. In addition, she is working to promote better screening and training of police officers, especially in the use of patience and verbal communication as opposed to the use of physical force and tools like pepperspray. She is working to publish a book of Gary’s poetry, which he finished and designed just weeks before he was killed.
Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY-D) has tried to get the Justice Department to reopen the case 3 times. First in June of 2001 when they refused to prosecute, then in June of 2003 when it was discovered that they had determined that Gary was not moving forward or lunging when he was shot. The Justice Department also determined that there was a possibility that the officers colluded to coordinate their story, and they sent a letter to Internal Affairs and asked them to investigate. Their investigation consisted of asking the officers if they colluded and they said they didn’t.
In November, 2003, Doris Busch Boskey lost a civil suit
she had brought against the city. During the four-week trial, with one juror literally sleeping his way through the proceedings and another hardly bothering to conceal his ties to the police, the courthouse seats were empty most of the time.
City attorneys repeatedly charged in open court that the residents of tight-knit Boro Park had conspired to deny the police version of what happened. Why residents of the conservative, police friendly neighborhood would take it into their heads to contradict police was never explained.
The city further alleged that potential witnesses had been intimidated by Doris Busch. It seems this is a trait that runs in families. Gary Busch scared beefy, well-armed cops, whereas thin, sixty-something Doris Busch could terrify whole neighborhoods. But according to one witness, if there was any intimidation it came from police, whom he was nervous about contradicting in open court.
Shortly after the trial, the city announced plans to sue the Busch family for several hundred thousand dollars in legal costs — an astonishing insult to pile onto this injury.*
Representative Nadler again asked the Justice Department to reopen the case. There is also a motion to set aside the verdict, and that decision is still pending.
* Last three paragraphs excerpted from an article by Harvey Blume in HEEB magazine (July 2004). Used with permission.