Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation Opens Investigation into Civilian Death in Brooklyn

New York – The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) has opened an investigation into the death of Brian Astarita, who died on November 11, 2021, following an encounter with members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in Brooklyn.

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 11, an NYPD officer attempted to stop Mr. Astarita as he was driving a vehicle on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn. Mr. Astarita drove off and the officer followed. Another NYPD officer joined the pursuit and the officers stopped Mr. Astarita, and Mr. Astarita allegedly got out of his car and approached the officers with what appeared to be a firearm. The officers allegedly opened fire after repeatedly telling Mr. Astarita to drop his weapon. Mr. Astarita was taken to NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, where he was pronounced dead. NYPD officers recovered what appeared to be a handgun at the scene.

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may have been on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may have been armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not have been in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

These are preliminary facts and subject to change.