NYPD cops suspended over response to woman who later died

Tonie and Barry Wells

Police sources tell News 12 that Barry Wells is in custody and is being questioned in connection to his wife Tonie Wells' death.

The officers, identified by sources as Wael Jaber and Wing Hong Lau, responded to the three-story Sterling Place brownstone after the victim's sister called 911 to report that Wells was "scared" of her husband because he was "acting amusing", sources said.

Tonie was found dead at the bottom of the basement stairs of her brownstone near Sterling Place and Albany Avenue around 10 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the New York Post, police received a call from the sister of 22-year-old Tonie Wells, who was concerned about the safety of her sibling, whose husband may have been putting her in considerable danger. Her husband, Barry, 29, has been brought in for questioning surrounding the incident. Bruises were found on her neck, and her husband, Barry Wells, was arrested.

Wells' young daughter, who was found near her mother's body, was not hurt.

Kemper said Wells had bruising on her neck "and it appears as if she was either pushed or fell down the flight of stairs leading to the basement".

"We are actively investigating the steps that were taken during the wellness check", an NYPD source told the Daily News.

The cops - who were suspended without pay - are claiming that they thought they only had to check on the outside of the home, the sources said.

"They seemed like a nice family", neighbor Michelle Ruiz said of the couple.

"An initial determination deemed this person's death to be suspicious and it is now being investigated", said deputy chief Michael Kempfer, according to CBS News. According to the ACLU, 88 percent of domestic abuse field workers say "police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence".

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