Questions remain after NYPD officers fatally shoot man in Crown Heights
08 April, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Diane Mills
When officers located the suspect, police say he "took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers".
The material released by the department didn't answer questions about whether the officers had identified themselves or ordered the victim to drop the object before they opened fire.
Authorities, however, did not warn Vassell before they shot at him, according to one eyewitness, who compared the shooting to a "hit" in a New York Daily News report.
Schneiderman's announcement of the state probe led by attorneys in his Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit came shortly after a Crown Heights state Senator called for an investigation into the fatal shooting - which occurred on the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - amid demands for better policing from activists in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Footage shows a man that police believe to be Saheed Vassell holding a gray object and pointing it at people.
Mr Monahan said CCTV from local stores showed Mr Vassell brandishing an object that looked like a firearm.
In another 911 call, another caller reported: "There's a guy walking around the street".
"There's a guy walking around the street, he looks like he's insane, but he's pointing something at people that looks like a gun, and he's like popping it as if like he's pulling the trigger", one caller said, according to cops.
In police radio traffic recorded during the incident and posted online, dispatchers directing officers to the scene said 911 callers were reporting only that a person was pointing a gun at people. Another caller told police shots were fired as she told her daughter to get down. Eric Vassell mentioned other incidents happening around the country in which black men have been fatally shot by police. They should not train them to kill.
Vassell's father, Eric, told reporters that his son had been hospitalized several times for psychiatric problems, some involving encounters with the police, but that he was polite and kind. "And the way they killed him, they didn't give him no choice", he continued. "They should train them to protect life, to save life", Eric Vassell told WABC-TV. Last month in Sacramento, California, 22-year-old Stephon Clark was shot and killed by officers who believed he was armed with a gun, but all that was found on him was a cell phone.
NYPD officials say the two police officers discharged five rounds, striking her one time the shoulder. "It's very hard to come forward", Deputy Police Commissioner Susan Herman said.
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