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On Wednesday, a number of New York Metropolis cops shot and killed an unarmed black man in Brooklyn after mistaking the steel pipe he was holding for a gun. Based on the New York Occasions, three plainclothes and two uniformed officers encountered Saheed Vassell within the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn once they responded to a number of 911 calls claiming a person was “threatening folks with a silver gun.” In a press convention late Wednesday, Chief Terence Monahan mentioned, “The suspect then took a two-handed capturing stance and pointed an object on the approaching officers.” So the officers fired.

Nevertheless, investigators subsequently realized that as a substitute of wielding a firearm, Vassell was really holding “a slim, curved silver pipe with a cylindrical knob on the finish of it.” What’s extra, additionally they realized that the 34-year-old neighborhood determine “was extensively identified to be mentally sick”:

In an interview at his residence late Wednesday evening, Mr. Vassell’s father, Eric Vassell, mentioned his son had bipolar dysfunction and had been admitted to the hospital a number of instances in recent times, generally after encounters with the police. The youthful Mr. Vassell, who was born in Jamaica and got here to the USA when he was 6, lived together with his household in a Crown Heights condominium and had labored as a welder. He additionally had a 15-year-old son.

Others advised the Occasions Vassell “was a well-recognized determine on the nook,” and that “he had a penchant for selecting issues up off the road — cigarette lighters, empty bottles and different curbside flotsam — and taking part in with them like toys.” His household, in the meantime, is understandably upset about what occurred and demanding solutions from the NYPD. “He lives within the church. He by no means had a gun,” an aunt advised native outlet ABC 7. “Everyone is hurting proper now,” a cousin added. “He’s a great child. They killed him for no cause.”

(Through New York Occasions and ABC 7)

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