June 2, 2017 By Jason Cohen
The family of a Japanese student who was killed by a NYPD patrol car that was traveling at 60 mph received a $500,000 settlement with New York City on Wednesday.
Ryo Oyamada, 24, was struck and killed by a police car while crossing 40th Ave. between 10th and 11th St. in Long Island City, on Feb. 21, 2013.
Police officer Daren Ilardi, who was behind the wheel, was allegedly speeding and driving recklessly at 60 mph without his sirens or turret lights on, which contributed to Oyamada’s death, according to reports. A thorough investigation was never conducted and there were no meaningful consequences for his actions.
Oyamada’s parents, Chie and Tsukasa Oyamada, and sisters, Tomoko Suzuki and Kaoru Takano, said the money will never bring him back.
“After over four years, we have decided with heavy hearts to accept a settlement of our lawsuit against the city for his death,” his family said in a statement. “This is not justice, and Officer Darren Ilardi should be held accountable for killing Ryo, as he sped recklessly next to public housing where children, families and pedestrians are always walking.”
Attorney Steve Vaccaro, who represented Oyamada, said he was upset he could not get justice for his client.
“I was deeply disappointed that the city denied all of the non-economic relief requested by the Oyamada family–measures aimed at accountability for the officers involved, preventing a re-occurrence, or simply allowing the public to know the full truth of what happened the night Ryo Oyamada was killed,” Vaccaro said.
Oyamada’s family, who live in Germany and Japan, has struggled to deal with his death. Through language barriers and legal obstacles, it has been a challenge, they said in the statement.
Family members made countless trips to New York City to attend court conferences and DMV hearings to find out the truth of what happened to Ryo. Yet, justice was not delivered, the family says.
“There is and has been a lack of political will to hold the NYPD accountable for killing Ryo,” the family said. “Our family feels that there is no way to hold the NYPD accountable through the court system.”