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NYPD Shot and Killed a Mentally Ill Black Man in Brooklyn
07 Abril 2018, 05:59 | Crisanna Felipe
NYC Police Fatally Shoot Black Man, Mistake Pipe For Gun
According to reports, the incident started shortly before 5 p.m., when police say they received three separate 911 calls from Brookyln of a man aiming what was originally described as a "silver firearm".
"Saheed Vassell was killed in broad daylight by four police officers who clearly didn't stop long enough to ask a single question about his condition", said Judith Browne-Dianis, Executive Director of the Advancement Project national office.
"He hasn't taken his medication for years", Eric Vassell, the victim's father, said.
Witnesses told ABC station WABC that the man, identified as Saheed Vassell, was well-known in the Crown Heights neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where the shooting happened.
On Thursday night, protesters marched to NYPD's 71st precinct and demanded the release of the names of the officers involved in the shooting - and their badges.
Standing on the corner where her son, who had bipolar disorder, had been killed the day before, Vassell's mother, Lorna, gave an emotional address to the crowd. Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview with WNYC radio on Friday only a few minutes passed between the 911 call and the arrival of the officers.
Muslim-American advocacy organizations are hailing a legal settlement with New York City police over the department's surveillance of the community, saying the agreement sends a message that simply being Muslim is not a crime. Police there said they thought Stephon Clark had a gun, but only a cell phone was found near his body. "If you saw him, he'd always be in a laughing mood".
A final video snippet showed the man raising the object in a two-handed shooting stance as police arrived, the edited video frozen just before officers unleashed 10 shots that left 34-year-old Saheed Vassell dead.
"The officers from the neighborhood, they know him".
ROSE: But also, he says, harmless, and local police knew that, too, according to neighbors Angie Lewis (ph) and Kirk McLeod (ph). Other communities members told ABC 7 NY that Vassell's mental health struggles were well-known in the community.
The video clip ends with Vassell brandishing the shower head like a pistol at something off screen - which authorities claimed were the responding officers, who then opened fire. The officers feared he had a gun, but it turned out he was holding a cellphone, Sacramento police said. "Everybody's got their First Amendment rights, and they can contribute to the candidate of their choice", said O'Neill, though he added, "The Special Victims Division is unique, and investigators have to maintain the confidence of the survivors of sexual assault".
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