Why Saheed Vassell family want new police shooting video released
Family members of Saheed Vassell are demanding that police come clean and release a full unedited video capturing the Brooklyn man’s death as he was being shot by four cops.
Vassell family claims that he was mentally ill and police are not being forthcoming with the details surrounding his death on Brooklyn street corner.
According to reports, Vassell was pointing a silver pipe at police when shots rang out, killing the 34-year-old man on April 4.
“Saheed did not deserve to be killed by the New York Police Department,” said his mother Lorna Vassell. “And I’m just asking for justice for Saheed Vassell, because Saheed Vassell is a very intelligent young man, and he did not deserve to be killed.”
Andwele Vassell, his brother, says the family is asking for the tape that reveals “everything that took place that day, prior (to) when it happened, after it happened, so New Yorkers understand what took place.”
Police reported that Vassell was pointing the gun-shaped object at people in the Brooklyn neighborhood before aiming the pipe at officers.
“I understand their concern, but the protocol we have, I think, is the right one,” said Mayor de Blasio. “But remember, there’s going to be a full investigation here by the NYPD and the attorney general.”
The family claims the NYPD has only released edited versions of the video and initially refused to make the video public at all. But after swift backlash, the edited version was released. The family wants full transparency and an unedited video showing the circumstances surrounding the Vassell shooting.
The NYPD has a history of not being forthcoming and failing to release video involving officer shootings.
“I’ve been going through this for six years,” said Constance Malcolm, whose 18-year-old son Ramarley Graham was gunned down by NYPD police. “We want the real story. We want to see the tapes, all the tapes — not just what you want to release.”
“I am here in need of justice for my brother, demanding the names of the four officers that opened fire on Saheed,” said his sister Telah.
There were five police officers on the scene who responded to the 911 call: two were white, one was black, one Hispanic and one Asian. Saheed Vassell was shot 10 times.