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‘We cannot ignore this’: Family, pols demand justice for girl killed by hit-and-run driver in Bushwick

Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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Light for Luz: Mourners, including 4-year-old Luz Gonzalez’s family and Borough President Adams, kneel down to light candles on Wednesday night.
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Safer streets: Dozens of mourners joined a memorial march for 4-year-old Luz Gonzalez on Wednesday.
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Demanding justice: Mourners want the hit-and-run driver who killed 4-year-old Luz Gonzalez to be held accountable.
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Never forget: Locals and family members made a memorial for the girl who was killed on Sunday.

They’ll never see their light again.

Family and friends of the 4-year-old killed when a hit-and-run driver ran over her on a Bushwick sidewalk on Sunday commemorated her short life at a memorial march on Wednesday, where young Luz Gonzalez’s godmother demanded the motorist apologize for slaying her goddaughter, whose name means “light,” she said.

“She was the light to our lives and she’s not here anymore,” said Fabiola Mendieta to the crowd of mourners, reporters, and safe-street advocates who attended the vigil. “We want the driver to at least apologize to the family, to the parents.”

Dozens walked from the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Menahan Street to the corner of Wyckoff Avenue and Hart Street, the site of Clean City Laundry Center, where the unnamed 38-year-old motorist backed out of a potentially illegal parking spot perpendicular to Hart Street, then turned and drove into Gonzalez and her mother — killing the girl and injuring the mom — while pulling onto the road.

On Monday, Police Department spokesman Sergeant Jones told the Brooklyn Paper that the driver — who cops stopped a block away from the collision, before letting her go — will likely not be arrested “because there’s no evidence or probable cause” to do so. And two days later, the New York Daily News reported the motorist wants to speak to Gonzalez’s family.

Borough President Adams, who joined the march and placed a bouquet of flowers at a memorial to Gonzalez outside the laundromat, demanded the driver be held accountable for fleeing the scene after fatally striking the girl — a felony according to state law.

“We cannot ignore this, or merely state that it’s something that happened and forget about it,” Adams, a former cop, said. “We must ensure that everything is done to send a clear and loud message that it’s not tolerated to leave the scene of an accident.”

Another vigil participant who a reckless driver sent flying to the pavement in 2014 while she pedaled her bike down a Bushwick street called the horrifying hit-and-run all too familiar, especially because cops never cuffed that motorist.

“[Luz’s family] was devastated, they have yet to arrest the driver or anything — it’s unbelievab­le,” said Bedford-Stuyvesant resident Dulcie Canton, who filed a civil suit against the motorist who hit her, and now works as an organizer for cycling-advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

The crowd of charged demonstrators also called on state pols to renew and expand the about-to-expire legislation mandating speed cameras on city streets near schools, which they said would help prevent future fatalities on local roads. This year, rogue drivers have now killed 9 kids while behind the wheel — though Adams acknowledged that cameras would not have saved Gonzalez’s life.

“A speed camera would not have saved the life of this child, but it is the absence of speed cameras that are putting our children in harm’s way,” he said.

Officials are still investigating the fatal crash, according to reps for the Police Department and district attorney’s office.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:41 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Stepan from Greenpoint says:
Arrest the driver already. I don't know why the cops said they had nothing. When they want something, they'll find it.

You don't get to kill a 4 yr old and walk away.

And if that was my kid, they wouldn't be walking anywhere ever again.
June 29, 6:44 pm
Bryanna from California says:
This is disturbing and inhuman, why is NO ONE helping this family!? The police clearly don’t care and want to be handed evidence that she was hit. My goodness a little 4 year old girl was hit and the person responsible is still freely driving the streets. This is disturbing!
June 29, 7:16 pm
Nataly says:
The woman’s brother is an NYPD Sergeant.
June 29, 8:21 pm
Nataly says:
The woman’s brother is an NYPD Sergeant
June 29, 8:21 pm
Will says:
Wow, how is this child killer not behind bars? This is extremely disturbing.
June 29, 11:08 pm
Jo says:
This is just sad.. there is all this evidence that they have and they srtill say they dont.. they just dont care.. what more evidence they need, dont the car have backup camera , when she drove forward she cant say she didnt see them, also when the car moved up and down when she ran her over, there all these evidence WHY THEY KEEP SAYING THERE IS NO EVIDENCE... freaking lady was probably paying more attetion on the phone then the road
June 30, 12:05 am
Janis from Bronx says:
I saw the video and the suv bounced up twice as it ran over the little girl and her mother’s leg. I refuse to believe the driver felt nothing as her SUV bounced up and down. The streets and the public are not safe while this wreckless driver is on the loose. If she didn’t realize she ran someone or something over, who’s to say there won’t be a next time and she’ll sing the same ol story that she had no clue. 😡😡😡😡😡😡
June 30, 3:41 am
JOse gonzalez from Bushwick says:
everyone please help support the family in this rought time


https://www.gofundme.com/Luzitzelgonzalez&rcid=r01-153036558829-7a9176e5a7ca4fb8&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w
June 30, 8:36 am
Brooklyn Paper from Kings County says:
The Brooklyn Paper is asking anyone who can confirm the validity of certain comments about the driver and her family relations to get in touch at newsroom@cnglocal.com.
June 30, 8:55 am
Drew Lawrence from Portland , Oregon says:
I'm not understanding why she wants to talk to the family? There are no word that can bring this ANGEL back. She knows deep in her heart she is wrong and for them to say there is no evidence.....oh the devil is busy....I'm sure the is something on her car that has evidence her on it..
Lord comfort the family🙏🙏
June 30, 9:28 am
Audra from New york says:
This is completely disturbing. Had it had been anyone else they would be facing manslaughter and hit and run charges. Driving while on a cell phone. I watched everything and followed every clipping because it hit close to home before saying a word. There is no way in hell she didn't see them nor feel them. My heart hurts for the mother who watched it all. you dont think to be more alert when your about to drive on a side walk? People don't walk on side walks anymore? You were illegal parked and a wreckless driver (also a charge) so you need some punishment. So because your brother is a cop you get off? I would like to see his police file and see what other shady —— he did. This is crazy that the world and my kids have to see this. Even my 8yr asked why she wasn't in jail she snuck up on me while I was watching the news. Then wonder why kids grow up hating the cops and affraid to go to them because they never help.
June 30, 2:47 pm
Albert Hernandez from California says:
I’m sorry but justice needs to be served I demand justice for this baby 👶 girl it could of been your child,nieces,nephews and ❤️ one she needs to face the consequences no matter who your relatives are same rules apply no free beez firmurfer justice for this lil princess 👸 amen 🙏🏻
June 30, 9:37 pm
Melissa Perez says:
I’m sorry but justice needs to be served I demand justice for this 👶 girl it could of been your child, nieces,nephews and ❤️ One she needs to face the consequences no matter who your relatives are same rules apply no free bees firmurfer justice for this little princess 👸 amen 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 Justice justice justice for the little girl
June 30, 10:19 pm
Mariah says:
How can they have a video of this child being killed, a video available to the public even, and claim there's no evidence? I hope justice finds this murderer and her pig relatives. God knows the legal system doesn't care.
July 1, 3:52 am
Kim from Bushwick says:
I'm sorry if I'm ignorant of NYC law, but isn't "Hit and Run" an actual crime? Why is this driver not at the police station giving a statement about this manslaughter? This is a crime, am I missing something? You only need evidence of probable cause for a murder, which this isn't. This is a manslaughter, and it's a crime. So is leaving the scene of an accident, but what do I know.
July 1, 3:32 pm
Ivette Gardner from Westchester, NY says:
This woman was driving on the SIDEWALK! WHY was she questioned by POLICE immediately after the "accident" then let go? Why is "news media" portraying this "murderer" as "completely broken"? She certainly wasn't broken enough to leave a scene of a crime and have the NYPD cover her tracks. Justice for Luz Gonzalez!
July 1, 5 pm

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