NY police fatally shoot man after mistaking pipe for a gun

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NY police shot and killed 34-year-old Saheed Vassell, a Jamaica-born Black man known to live with mental illness, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn on Wednesday, after believing that the metal pipe Vassell was holding was a gun.

Vassell, who was born in Jamaica, came to the US when he was a child, the Times reported; he had a 15-year-old son.

Cops say they shot the man, Saheed Vassell, after officers responding to three 911 calls about a man pointing a gun at people arrived at the scene and thought he was doing just that.

The release of the edited material - the full videos and transcripts weren't immediately provided - was meant to back up claims by the police department that the four plainclothes and two uniformed officers who responded had a legitimate reason to believe they needed to move swiftly to stop a deadly threat.

However, investigators subsequently learned that instead of wielding a firearm, Vassell was actually holding "a slim, curved silver pipe with a cylindrical knob at the end of it".

"If Saheed Vassell experienced emotional distress, it is deeply disturbing that he has become another New Yorker failed by the city and killed by its police department". They're just not going to admit it. It's nearly like they did a hit. "They didn't say nothing". They didn't say put your hands up, drop your gun, nothing.' Hinds said.

Saheed Vassell, 34, had bipolar disorder, according to the New York Times, which spoke with his father, Eric Vassell, 63.

"I'm planning on coping with my loss through my church, my children, and friends, because there are so many friends keep calling because he grew up here as a young kid", he said. "He'd always come check up on me, ask me if I'm good", he said.




Vassell's father also said that his son never acted violently and would, "just walk around the neighborhood and help people". 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. "We were always anxious for him".

Jim Seuss, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) 's New Jersey chapter, said the settlement "is a great victory for the Muslims of New Jersey and people of all faiths".

It is also important to mention none of the officers were wearing body camera at the time of the fatal shooting.

Monahan stressed officers believing the pipe that Vassell held in a braced shooting position to be that of a firearm. 'He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange Bible or a rosary in his hand.

A few people shouted at the police, she said. The new neighborhood called the police.

Senator Jesse Hamilton will be holding a vigil tonight at the same location, starting at 4:40 pm-the time yesterday when Vassell was shot and killed.

"This is what our society has come to", he said.

Andre Wilson, 38, who has known Vassell for 20 years, told the nydailynews that Vassell was mentally challenged but harmless. He has no issue with violence.

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