On Sept. 25, 2012, Mohamed Bah was shot nine times by NYPD officers in his own apartment while brandishing a knife.
The incident, despite not leading to federal charges against any of the officers, led to a $70 million lawsuit against the city. The city and Bah’s family settled for $2.1 million after a jury found that one of the cops – detective Edwin Mateo – has used excessive force in shooting Bah.
The suit also demanded the city develop a protocol for dealing with mentally ill people. Shortly after the verdict, the city appealed the settlement and that has set off anger from activists and elected officials alike.
“Mrs. Bah and her family should not have to spend another Sept. 25 worrying about court processes and fighting for NYPD wrongdoing in their loved one’s death to be acknowledged,” a letter written by the coalition of 120 politicians, religious leaders and advocacy groups said in the New York Daily News.
Police arrived after an ambulance was called when Bah, a 28-year-old West African immigrant, was suffering a mental breakdown and his mother wanted him taken to the hospital. When the cops arrived, Bah was naked and wielding a knife.
Cops initially used Tasers and rubber bullets on Bah, but they claimed he kept moving toward them. According to the Daily News, one officer claimed that Bah was stabbing him and told the other officers to “shoot him.”
On Nov. 14, 2017, a jury found that Mateo had used excessive force and awarded Hawa Bah $2.1 million. At the time she thanked the jury but noted it was a bittersweet victory.
“I know I can have the victory, but I will not have my son again back,” she said.