Today, the family of New York State Parole Officer Sandy Guardiola, who was shot and killed by Canandaigua Police Officer Scott Kadien while in her bed one year ago today, filed suit alleging, among many claims, wrongful death while also challenging the existing policy related to wellness checks of civilians.
The lawsuit alleges that Kadien entered Ms. Guardiola’s home without any independent verification or assessment as to Ms. Guardiola’s well-being in violation of the Fourth Amendment, among other claims. Instead, Kadien relied upon the false statement of a former supervisor at NYS DOCCS Division of Parole, in concert with others from Ms. Guardiola’s prior office in Rochester, all of whom are individually named in the lawsuit. Ms. Guardiola’s transfer to the Binghamton Office had been approved in August 2017.
It is clear, based on what we know so far, that the official account of what happened to Sandy Guardiola cannot be believed. This lawsuit seeks the truth,” said Jonathan Moore, attorney for the Guardiola family. “At the end of the day that truth will show that Sandy Guardiola did not have to die one year ago today.”
Ms. Guardiola had been on approved medical leave for four weeks after a September 2017 car accident. However, on October 4, 2017, a supervisor from Rochester called 911 falsely claiming that Ms. Guardiola had not been heard from for weeks. The Rochester supervisor’s call to 911 prompted two emergency response vehicles to station themselves across the street from Ms. Guardiola’s apartment complex as Kadien conducted the wellness check. The emergency response personnel were later cleared to respond to her home, but only after Sandy Guardiola had been shot.
The Plaintiffs have engaged the services of one of the country’s foremost forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden. He will testify that the manner in which Ms. Guadiola was shot is at odds with the official account previously given. The evidence clearly suggests that Ms. Guardiola was shot while she was reaching for her weapon and that at no time did she pose a threat to Sergeant Kadien.
The lawsuit also alleges that any discharge from Ms. Guardiola’s gun was a reflex reaction to being shot. There is no evidence that her service weapon was pointed at Sergeant Kadien at any time.
After he shot and killed Ms. Guardiola, and then handcuffed her, Kadien called for law enforcement backup rather than the emergency responders who were stationed across the street. When the emergency responders arrived, they were told that a woman had been shot by a police officer, and that she had been “down for 10 minutes.” Three separate police agencies were on scene when the emergency service workers arrived.
The family appeared today in Canandaigua, across from the apartment complex where she died, to demand justice for Sandy Guardiola. Jonathan C. Moore of Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, an attorney for the family, said “this lawsuit seeks to hold accountable those who unjustly caused Sandy Guardiola’s death. Even in a welfare check, the police must conduct themselves in a way that does not violate the constitutional rights of people they are checking on.”
Alysa and Andrew Ocasio, Ms. Guardiola’s children, also spoke at the conference. Alysa expressed the family’s desire for justice. Andrew spoke about his mother’s innate kindness and compassion. He talked about how his mother taught them “to always fight for what is right.” He added, “we’re going to make sure we hold true to that.”