NYPD Kills Bipolar Man After Thinking Metal Pipe was Gun

The 34-year-old Brooklyn man is more than just the latest statistic of police brutality against Black bodies in America.

Snippets of security videos put out on the New York Police Department's Twitter account show Saheed Vassell, who had a history of mental illness, thrusting something that looked like the barrel of a gun into the faces of three people on the street, including a woman holding the hand of a child.

Terence Monahan later said at a press conference that Vassell "took a two-handed shooting stance" at the officers.

Four officers fired their weapons, hitting the suspect. But investigators later found a metal pipe - not a gun - at the scene, angering residents who say the man was well-known in the neighborhood and shouldn't have been shot.

New York City has reached a settlement giving Muslims a say in police training and policies, and the city agreed to pay mosques and businesses who said they were illegally targeted for surveillance due to their religion, Muslim groups said Thursday.

'They just hopped out of the auto.

"It's nearly like they did a hit", a witness named Jack Hinds told NBC 4. "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.

Vassell's father Eric also said his son had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

"He's always been there for me no matter what", Tyshawn said.

Kevin said he was with Vassell just before he was killed, that Vassell had been playing around with a piece of metal, fooling, like it was a gun.

"He hasn't taken his medication for years", the father told the New York Post. He added, "We were always anxious for him". You would never catch him down, "Jezebel reports". Vassell's aunt, Nora Ford, told Eyewitness News that she is outraged over the shooting. "Murder!" some bystanders shouted at dozens of police officers. "They should train them to protect life, to save life", Eric Vassell said in an interview with WABC-TV.

Andre Wilson, 38, who has known Vassell for 20 years, told the nydailynews that Vassell was mentally challenged but harmless.

City Council member Mark Treyger, whose district includes the Brooklyn neighborhood where the alleged sexual assault occurred, sponsored a resolution asking the state to change the law soon after news of the alleged assault broke, Jacobin Mag reports. "He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange Bible or a rosary in his hand".

He had been fatally shot by NYPD officers Wednesday afternoon in his usual stomping grounds of Crown Heights.

Wilson said he was surprised and shocked it would come to this. He has no issue with violence.

  • Kyle Peterson