A woman’s life changed forever after a police officer recklessly fired his handgun in her direction during a mental health crisis. Chassity Wade still has shrapnel embedded in her body a year after the incident occurred in Beacon, New York. The traumatic event unfolded when Fishkill Police Officer Joseph DiPalma responded to a dispute between a mother and son at an apartment complex while Wade’s close friend, Michael Becerril, was experiencing a mental health crisis.
As Becerril grabbed a knife and began harming himself, Wade followed him out of her apartment to calm him down. When she and Becerril fell to the ground, DiPalma started firing indiscriminately in their direction, hitting both of them. Despite Becerril no longer posing a threat, DiPalma continued to shoot, disregarding Wade’s safety, and striking her in the thigh.
The lawsuit filed by Wade against DiPalma and the Town of Fishkill demands a trial by jury. She alleges that the officers’ actions were unjustified and their training inadequate for responding to mental health crises and instances of self-harm. The incident left Wade in excruciating pain, wheelchair-bound for a month, and with the possibility of needing surgery to remove the remaining shrapnel.
Despite a grand jury investigation finding the officers involved justified in their actions, the impact on Wade’s life remains significant. She is now seeking justice and accountability for the recklessness that has caused her ongoing pain and suffering.