Brooklyn Man Saheed Vassell Killed By Cops While Carrying Shower Pipe
06 April, 2018, 02:09 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
The civil rights lawsuit came after a Pulitzer Prize-winning series by the AP detailed how the NYPD's Intelligence Division's Demographic Unit worked with the CIA to surveil Muslim communities in the NY area, including in neighboring New Jersey.
New York City police officers shot and killed a bipolar man Black man who was waving a metal pipe in Brooklyn, NY after mistaking it for a gun on Thursday.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at a press conference Wednesday that police received three 911 calls describing the same situation and that surveillance tapes from stores in the area showed "a man brandishing what appears to be a firearm, pointing it at people".
The man, 34-year-old Saheed Vassell, "took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers, two of whom were in uniform".
A plainclothes officer in the passenger seat got out of the vehicle and fired at the man several times, Mr. Hinds said.
None of the officers involved were wearing body cameras, a police spokesman told reporters.
Doctors pronounced Vassell dead after he was taken to Kings County Medical Center.
"He would set the alarm off all the time going up to the roof", Martinez said of Vassell, whose family said he suffered from bi-polar disorder.
The officers who responded Wednesday didn't have some tools other peers might have used to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution, from specific knowledge of Vassell as a neighborhood figure to specialized training in dealing with mentally ill civilians.
Another surveillance image showed Vassell pointing the metal pipe at a person on the street. According to The Washington Post, police said they confused a metal shower pipe for a gun. "He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange bible or a rosary in his hand". "If people knew about his condition they could have told the police".
"This settlement demonstrates a continued commitment by the NYPD to safeguard individual constitutional rights while keeping NY the safest city in America", said Zachary W. Carter, the city's top lawyer.
Vassell was the father of a 15-year-old son, Tyshawn, who described him as a caring Dad who looked after him. Officers shot him around 4:45 p.m.at the corner of Montgomery Street and Utica Avenue, in the Crown Heights neighborhood. He has no issue with violence.
"He came by my house to help me with my computer", she said.
"The Attorney General's Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit has opened an investigation into the death of Saheed Vassell", the state's Attorney General office said in a statement.
"This is a tragedy because a man with a profound mental health problem from what we know so far was doing something that people perceived to be a threat to others", said Mayor de Blasio.
"Too many of our young men are dying on our streets", Hamilton told the crowd.
By state law, the attorney general is appointed as a special prosecutor to oversee investigations into and prosecute matters related to incidents in which unarmed civilians die during interactions with police or incidents in which there is significant question as to whether the civilian was armed and risky, Spitalnick said, citing the law.
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