The family of a college student murdered at her East Harlem housing project doesn’t deserve a dime from the city — because she should have known the “risks” of being on the dangerous grounds, city lawyers claim in court papers.
“I can’t believe they’re saying she’s responsible for her murder,” Olivia Brown’s mother, Crystal, told The Post Friday.
“Everybody has a right to be safe in their home. Why wasn’t my daughter safe? Because we’re poor and live in public housing?”
Seeking a dismissal of the mother’s wrongful-death lawsuit, lawyers for the New York City Housing Authority argued Olivia’s 2013 shooting at the Lincoln Houses, allegedly by a trespasser, was “spontaneous” and “unavoidable.”
“All the risks, hazards and dangers were open, obvious and apparent to [Brown] and said risks, hazards and dangers were openly and voluntarily assumed by [Brown],” said the documents, filed Thursday.
Crystal Brown sued NYCHA last year, claiming a lack of security allowed vagrant Michele “Mohawk” Graham to roam the grounds before she fatally shot Olivia, 23, after an argument.
But NYCHA says it couldn’t have prevented the tragedy.
“Such damages and injuries are attributable, in whole or in part, to the culpable conduct of the plaintiff’s decedent and/or third parties,” the agency’s lawyers wrote in response.
Crystal Brown also ripped Mayor de Blasio, who, with other mayoral candidates, spent a night at the Lincoln Houses three days before the July 2013 shooting as part of a campaign stunt.
Brown, 51, said cops have since beefed up security, adding two police towers and installing security cameras in their building.
“Why didn’t they have the security in place to protect her when there’s been a history of violence here for 25 years?” she said.
Brown’s lawyer decried the implication that getting shot is a risk of living in public housing.
“If the language in the . . . city’s papers is taken as case specific, I do not agree that anyone should be deemed to have assumed the risk of being shot, merely by walking in the public area of a New York City Housing project,” said the lawyer, Kyle Watters.