The event, organized by a host of elected officials as well as the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, took place near Utica Avenue and Montgomery Street at 4:40 p.m., the exact time that four police officers opened fire on 34-year-old Saheed Vassell on Wednesday. “Aren’t the police trained how to defend [themselves] and prevent killing a mental person?”
Mr Monahan said CCTV from local stores showed Mr Vassell brandishing an object that looked like a firearm. A federal district court ruled against them in 2014 but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in a year later and said their lawsuit could proceed, comparing the surveillance to targeting of the Japanese during World War II.
Police say four officers fired 10 rounds at Vassell after he crouched and pointed the object at them. He noted that these officers are not outfitted with body cameras as a part of the units they are in.
NYPD officers arrived at the scene to find a man matching the description provided by the 911 callers.
“We were always anxious for him”.
The object he was holding was found to be a “pipe with some sort of knob at the end”, Mr Monahan added. He was described as a black man wearing a brown jacket and pointing a “silver firearm at people” on the street, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan told reporters in a brief update hours after the shooting.
The Times spoke to witnesses who said that “the police officers appeared to fire nearly immediately after they got to the corner around 4:45 p.m”. “What they did, which is very common in all civil cases, is they sat in a room [.] and they do a cost-benefit analysis and say ‘let’s pay a little bit of money here” and get rid of it and they actually save themselves probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs”, Bianchi said.
Federal courts have approved two other settlements of lawsuits filed on behalf of Muslim religious and community leaders who alleged their civil rights were violated when they were unfairly targeted for NY police surveillance.
“It’s nearly like they did a hit”, a witness named Jack Hinds told NBC 4.
“You can not be a cop and all you should think about is your life, you know, you will lose your life so let me take a life to save my life”, Eric Vassell told WABC.
“Blood was everywhere”, the man, identified as Chris, told the New York Daily News. “They didn’t say put your hands up, nothing”.
The video also shows 911 call transcripts of neighborhood residents who reported the man to police.
Vassell’s father, Eric Vassell, told the New York Daily News that his son was bipolar and had struggled with the disorder for years.
Residents described Vassell as a harmless neighborhood eccentric often seen talking to himself on the street where he was killed.
“This is what our society has come to”, he said.
Vassell, a Jamaican immigrant, leaves behind a teenage son, 15-year-old Tyshawn, who said his father was an active presence in his life.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said on Twitter that the mayor had “received a preliminary briefing on the officer-involved shooting”.
Angry relatives of the slain man returned Thursday morning to the shooting scene, where they continued to vent about the deadly encounter.