NYPD Shot and Killed a Mentally Ill Black Man in Brooklyn

Police Shoot and Kill a Man in Brooklyn

On Thursday, Ruta Deshong, who owns a reggae record shop on the same block where Vassell lived, said she had known him since he was a young boy and that the police who normally patrol the neighborhood knew him well.

The New York State Attorney's General office is to investigate the fatal shooting of 34 year old Brooklyn bipolar black man, Saheed Vassell at the hands of NYPD cops after police received 911 calls of the 'wandering' man allegedly waving a metal object at people.

According to the partial transcripts of the 911 calls released by the department, one caller reported that Vassell "looks like he's insane but he's pointing something at people that looks like a gun".

The video released Thursday shows Saheed Vassell aggressively pointing an object at pedestrians that turned out to be an L-shaped piece of pipe.

Vassell then "took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers", NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said. In all, three plainclothes officers and one uniformed officer fired 10 rounds between them, Monahan said.

After the fatal shooting in NY, officers discovered that their suspect had been holding "a pipe with some sort of knob on it", Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan said at a news conference.

Vassell's father, Eric Vassell, told the Times that his son had bipolar disorder and had been hospitalized multiple times in recent years. "They should train them to protect life, to save life", Eric Vassell said in an interview with WABC-TV.

They also claimed that the NYPD sent undercover officers into mosques, student organizations, businesses, and neighborhoods that it believed to be "heavily Muslim".

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A witness of the shooting told the Daily News that when officers arrived they did not give a warning and started firing at Vassell. Just last month, Sacramento police claimed they thought unarmed Stephon Clark was carrying a gun when he was actually carrying a cellphone.

Jaccpot Hinds, 40, said he was walking south on Utica Avenue near the intersection when he saw an unmarked police vehicle pass him and cross both lanes of traffic near where a man was standing on a street corner.

He added that it "as advocates is our intent to continue to work closely with Muslim communities in ensuring that the NYPD is actually doing what they say they are going to be doing, and ensure compliance".

According to The New York Times, police had encountered Vassell before and classified him as emotionally disturbed.

Pictured, Crown Heights mentally ill man, Saheed Vassell who was gunned down by the NYPD after believing he was holding a gun and an imminent threat.

The shooting comes after the police killing of an unarmed black man on March 18 in Sacramento, California, sparked two weeks of protests and calls for police reform. They also released partial transcripts of three 911 emergency calls.

When asked at a news conference Wednesday how the Crown Heights shooting compared with similar incidents across the country - and how police could prevent future shootings like it, including their responses to people with mental illness - Monahan declined to answer.

"If they had said, 'Drop your weapon, ' he would have", Deshong said. "Whenever there is a mistake that is made, we always hope that people can acknowledge the mistake that they made. and we hope that they can find a way of improving so the mistake will not be made again". "We have to stay straight to the facts of this incident today". He had been issued 120 summonses and had a history of mental health interactions, including at least one contact with police where he was described as being emotionally disturbed.



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