Unnecessary Death of 11-Year-Old Blamed on Hudson Valley Officer
A state police officer in the Hudson Valley is being blamed for the death of an innocent 11-year-old.
During a traffic stop that should have just ended in a ticket, a father says his young daughter's life was unnecessarily ended by an overzealous officer.
According to the Daily News, a criminal investigation has been launched over the incident which took place in Ulster County over the winter. Tristin Goods was driving his wife and two young children on the Thruway in December when he was pulled over for speeding in the Town of Ulster.
Goods claims the officer began berating and yelling at him, saying that his car was going so fast it "shook" the officer's patrol car. The driver explained that it was most likely a tractor-trailer that was traveling in front of him that caused the ground to shake, not his vehicle.
The officer then allegedly cursed at Good's wife after she explained that she was tired and accused the family of hiding drugs in their car. Good says he kept his hands on the wheel at all times and asked to speak to a supervisor. That's when the driver says the officer returned to the vehicle and, without any warning, filled it with pepper spray.
The officer, according to Good, was aware that there were two young girls in the back seat and did not warn the family that he was going to use the pepper spray. "He didn’t say ‘Get out of the car’ or ‘You’re under arrest." Instead, he just began spraying inside the vehicle.
Fearing for his life and the safety of his family, Good drove away and was pursued by the officer who rammed the vehicle in an attempt to get it to stop. After failing on the first attempt, the police officer rammed the SUV again, flipping it over a guardrail. Good's youngest daughter, Monica, was thrown from the vehicle and killed.
After the crash, Good attempted to locate his daughter but says he was held at gunpoint by the officer who continued to ask if he had drugs in the car. The family claims their other 12-year-old daughter was detained and questioned for four hours immediately after the tragic incident without a family member present.
There are several pending lawsuits against officer Christopher Baldner and the New York State Police. Baldner is still employed as a state trooper but has been reassigned to desk duty since the incident in December.
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