An East Village man shot and paralyzed by police in 2020 after he waved a knife inside a bodega has sued the NYPD and the two cops who shot him.
Peyman Bahadoran, 56, gave up the knife before he was shot in the lower back and left arm by Officers Jillian Suarez and Bryan Rozanski on June 4, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. outside the bodega at E. 9th St. and Third Ave.
Bahadoran, a former Wall Street trader with a young daughter, was in the midst of a manic episode he claims was exacerbated by nights of raucous Union Square protests around his apartment.
With a large sheath knife in his belt, he walked with his terrier to the bodega.
Two cops, Suarez and Melissa Brown, entered the store just before him. Bahadoran argued with the clerk and waved the knife before dropping it on the counter and leaving the store right behind Suarez.
Police have acknowledged that Bahadoran left the knife on the deli counter, but say officers did not see him do so.
As other cops arrived, Bahadoran was unarmed, with only a water bottle in one hand. He pushed past Suarez and was then shot. Much of the incident was captured on officers’ body-worn cameras.
Bahadoran’s lawyer, Earl Ward, argues the police should have known Bahadoran was unarmed at that point because he was in such close proximity to Suarez, and because Brown saw him drop the knife in the store.
“They know he’s not armed. There’s no reason for them to shoot him,” Ward said. “He did not pose a serious or deadly threat to these officers and now he’s forever damaged.”
The NYPD said its investigation of the incident is ongoing. Suarez, the daughter of an NYPD officer killed on 9/11, had been on the job two years, and Rozanski had been on the job 13 years.
Bahadoran remains permanently paralyzed from the waist down with limited use of his left arm.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan, does not specify the amount of damages being sought.