MINEOLA, N.Y. — A North Carolina college student hit by police gunfire during a shooting outside the Empire State Building argued in a lawsuit Tuesday that the Police Department and the officers involved need better training to deal with such confrontations in the future.
Nine bystanders, including 32-year-old Chenin Duclos, were hit by police bullets, ricochets, and fragments when two officers fired at a man suspected of gunning down a former co-worker outside the Manhattan landmark.
Duclos said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court that the department and the officers were ‘‘grossly negligent’’ in the way they handled the shooting: firing 16 shots on a crowded street outside one of the world’s largest tourist attractions.
Amy Marion, an attorney representing Duclos in the lawsuit, said the NYPD needs to improve its methods.
‘‘They consistently fail to properly train employees and officers in the settings they will encounter,’’ she said.
The city’s law department said officers had to make a quick decision in dealing with a life-threatening situation.
‘‘The state’s highest court has recognized that police officers’ split-second decisions to use deadly force must be protected from this kind of second-guessing,’’ said New York City’s corporation counsel, Michael A. Cardozo. ‘‘To allow otherwise would have a chilling effect on the ability of our police to enforce the law and would put the lives of police officers and the public at risk.’’
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have said they believe the officers followed proper protocol.