Communities United for Police Reform Wants Justice for Saheed Vassell, Reported by the Observer

Posted on April 10, 2018

NY Attorney General to Probe Police-Involved Shooting Death in Brooklyn

Originally Posted in the Observer on April 5, 2018
Written by Madina Toure

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he will investigate a shooting in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn on Wednesday after a 34-year-old black man with mental health issues [Saheed Vassell] was shot by officers who mistook a metal shower head he was holding for a gun.

In 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order making Schneiderman the special prosecutor in cases where law enforcement kills a civilian under suspicious conditions.

Anthonine Pierre, director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, which is part of Communities United for Police Reform, said initial reports falsely claimed Vassell had a gun and blasted the use of new terms like “shooting stance” and the “selective release” of photos and information. She also said Schneiderman’s probe should be “swift, thorough and transparent.”

“Despite the mayor and first lady touting their mental health initiative, they continue to be silent about the repeated killings of people in emotional distress by police, which now totals at least 11 in the past four years,” Pierre said in a statement. “There are solutions to these problems that can prevent these killings, but the de Blasio administration needs to be willing to truly listen to people in impacted communities and take action on their solutions to change the status quo.”

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