NYPD Releases 911 Transcripts, Video Of Saheed Vassell's Last Moments Before Fatal Police Shooting
The New York man was shot 10 times during an encounter with police.
New York City police have released new details, 911 call transcripts and footage in the wake of the recent police shooting of a Brooklyn man.
Police responded to multiple 911 calls Wednesday about a man walking around with an object that appeared to be a gun around 4:45 p.m. The footage released Friday shows Saheed Vassell walking and pointing an object at bystanders on the street.
After mistaking the pipe for a gun, police shot and killed Vassell in Brooklyn when the man "took a two-handed shooting stance” and pointed in officers’ direction, according to NBC. An officer on the scene fired 10 shots at the man killing him instantly.
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His death has sparked a number of protests in the city. Many believe that officers overreacted and could have taken a better route to help the man.
Blavity reported initially that a witness identified as Jack Hinds said the officer on scene immediately fired and did not take a second to speak or try to get the identity of the man. It turned out the object in Vassell's hands was a pipe with another object, possibly a knob, attached.
Transcripts from the 911 calls all describe Vassell the same way. Callers repeatedly mentioned his brown jacket and the fact that he waved the object at people.
The following is a transcript from one 911 Caller:
"Hi, I’m walking on Utica Avenue in the direction to... Yeah, walking away from Eastern Parkway towards Empire Boulevard. There’s a guy in a brown jacket walking around pointing. I don’t know what it is he’s pointing at people’s faces. I don’t know what if it is if it’s a gun. It’s silver."
Following the shooting, Eric Vassell, Saheed's father, told NY1 on Wednesday that his son had bipolar disorder and had been “sick for a long time.” Police, however, did not factor mental illness into how they engaged the victim.
The New York's Attorney General Office has opened an investigation into Vassell's death.