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VIDEO: NYPD Releases Videos Showing Justifiably-Shot Suspect

NYPD has released surveillance videos from nearby businesses that showed the man shot by police.

Brooklyn, NY – Police released 911 call transcripts and surveillance videos from nearby businesses that clearly showed a man walking through the community on Tuesday, holding what appeared to be a silver firearm, and pointing it at people (video below).

The New York Police Department (NYPD) said they received “several 911 calls of a man pointing what was described as a silver firearm at people on the street.”

NYPD released transcripts of calls they received from shopkeepers and people on the street who saw Saheed Vassell, 34, behaving bizarrely and pointing his gun at people.

They also released surveillance videos captured from multiple businesses along Vassell’s route.

In the first video clip, Vassell aggressively approached strangers on the sidewalk and pointed something silver metal object at them.

In the next video clip, he approached a woman and child, and pointed his arm, as though he had a gun, at the woman’s head.

In the third video, Vassell walked right up to another man on the street and held the item to the man’s chest.

Police said the last piece of surveillance footage, which showed Vassell storming onto a street corner, and taking up a shooting stance, holding his weapon out in front of himself with both hands, captured the moment when officers fired at the man.

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said, “The suspect then took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers,” according to New York Daily News.

“At this point, responding officers discharged their weapons,” police said.

Police received multiple 911 calls from passersby who witnessed the man threatening people with what they thought was a gun.

“There is a guy in a brown jacket walking around pointing – I don’t know, (to someone else) what is he pointing in people’s faces? They say it’s a gun. It’s silver,” one caller told the dispatcher.

Another caller said “he looks like he’s crazy, but he’s pointing something at people that looks like a gun and he’s like popping it as if he’s pulling the trigger.”

One call was from the proprietor of a laundromat, who told the dispatcher that the man was outside her store and that he had a gun in his hand.

“Caller states a male was pointing a gun at people. Third party caller. I have a description for a male black, with brown jacket, blue jeans, black and white sneakers,” the dispatcher told responding officers as they approached the scene.

Four officers fired a total of 10 shots at the suspect. The officers provided first aid and the suspect was transported to the hospital where he died.

The object that the suspect pointed at the officers was later identified as a pipe, according to WABC.

"This was not an [emotionally disturbed person] call... this was a call of a man pointing what 911 callers felt was a gun at people on the street," Chief Monahan said, according to WABC. "When we encounter him he turns with what appears to be a gun at the officers. We have to stay straight on the facts with this incident today."

None of the officers on scene were equipped with body cameras, but the chief showed an image from a surveillance camera which showed the suspect in a shooting stance.

Despite three callers reporting a gun being pointed at people, and the suspect pointed what appeared to be a gun at police, people have been expressing outrage over the shooting.

"It's almost like they did a hit," witness Jack Hinds told WABC. "They didn't say 'freeze,' they didn't say 'put your hands up,' they didn't say 'stop for a minute.' They just started shooting."

Local community members told New York Daily news that the suspect was well-known and mentally disturbed.

Protesters were gearing up for a large rally at NYPD’s 71st Precinct on Wednesday night, near where the shooting occurred.

“Join us to call for justice and accountability in the death of Saheed 'Sy' Vassell, who was gunned down by the NYPD in broad daylight in #CrownHeights yesterday,” the protest flyers by Brooklyn Movement read.

You can see the latest surveillance video release below:

I’m not saying that, and you’re misrepresenting my point. I’m saying what other people have been trying to tell you. Things are varied, and there’s no one solution to every single problem.

You’re going to have your mishaps and you’re going to have situations that are hard to avoid.

In this one instance, on the article we’re talking about. The police are justified. The police weren’t there to issue a punishment, they were there to stop a threat. If he were white and he pointed the same object at police, he’s most likely dead.

I brought up those articles to show to you how varied the response can be.

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First! I feel badly for the man’s family and loved ones. They know him as a person that they loved and cherished, not as the disturbed person he was made out to be in the media. They are angry, offended and saddened by his loss. They are hurting and want justice. Unfortunately for them, I doubt if they will ever will never get it. I’ve seen the video released by the police and I watched the events on the WABC7 as it was shown to us on television.

The officers took a sworn oath to protect the public from those that break the laws. This guy was threatening the public with what resembled a pistol, plain and simple. The police, upon arriving on scene were faced with a “man with a gun call. Had they hesitated for a second, and the pipe was in fact a gun, the police officers (or the public they were sworn to protect) could have easily been shot and/or killed.

Think about it. You have seconds, sometimes milliseconds, to respond to a threat. If it looks like a gun, most often, it is a gun. Sometimes it’s a toy, a starter pistol, a replica and in this case a silver colored pipe. The “victim” was threatening the public with what was reported to be, a gun. The police arrive on the scene. Upon seeing them arrive, he turns towards them and takes aim at the officers, makes a stance. How would you expect the officers to respond? Ask him nicely to “please drop your weapon”? If you are going to try telling me you would do something differently then you are either a liar, an idiot or both. It was not about race, color, ethnicity or creed. This was about a man brandishing what appeared to be a gun and aiming it at the public and the police. They responded the way they were trained. They exist in our society to help fight crime. No officers or public were injured. The cops live to fight crime another day. Sometimes, police shootings are, in fact, about race. Sometimes the suspect is black. Sometimes he is killed by white police officer, but this specific situation was not about race...no mater how hard you try to say otherwise, the outcome would have been the same whether the “gunman” was black, white, brown, yellow or purple. There’s no definitive solution to every scenario. A well trained officer in the field relies on his training to help him evaluate the threat and, hopefully, respond accordingly.

I proudly served in the US Army from 1981-86 as a combat photographer. I fired my rifle, my pistol and grenades just as often as I shot my camera...sometimes more. I’ve seen more death and destruction in the battlefield than what has been shown to us through the news media across the USA for the last 10 years. Believe me when I tell you, if someone came at me with what appeared to be a gun, they went down...fast. I asked questions later. You have mere moments. Hesitate and you go home in a pine box. It’s the same thing for the police across the states. You are faced by a perp with a gun, hesitate...die. Granted, I was not in the neighborhood. I did not see the pipe/gun. The police saw it, but the threat felt real enough for them to use deadly force. IMHO, the shooting was justified, but that won’t help his family and friends feel better.

For the record, I am not a police officer, but I support them despite a few run ins with the police.

(edited)
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Although he may or may not have had a ,metal disability, it’s besides the point. He pointed a weapon at several people on the street. There were several phone call to 911 about him. He threatened a ,other and child for goodness sake. He may not have deserved to die, but he didn’t care if others did. He was a threat, plain and simple.

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In every video it looked like a gun. As soon as he points it toward you, you don't have to say shit. Just shoot. All it would take is a split second for him to shoot you at that point. And I don't care what the hell you all say. If you were in the same situation and had a guy pointing a gun at you, say a white man pointing a gun at a black person, you wouldn't hesitate to shoot first. If not you're either a liar or a dumb ass. The fact that it wasn't a gun doesn't matter because it appeared to be one.

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easy to say that but you are not showing any proof... I just read an article on this and after he fired a shot that broke glass in a door, he came out of the house on his own... article said he still resisted arrest but it did not say he came out of the house still armed... If he exited the home unarmed there was no reason to shoot him... your not telling the whole story just the part that backs up your argument...

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@blueriverrose
So just so I'm clear, you're saying:

If you shoot at the police but then come out unarmed but still resisting, you shouldnt be killed.

That's what you're saying, right? I just want to be clear that that is what you're saying.

Your logic, as always, is screwed up. You can't expect officers to respond the same way every time because there are too many variables. Officers aren't robots programed to respond only one way. There are a few websites out there that will put you in an officers shoes where you have to make the decision to shoot or not to shoot. I suggest you look at one and educate yourself. Hopefully, that will prevent you from making more idiotic comments.

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I say the cops just stay out of those neighborhoods and let the community, made up of his neighbors, handle the incident completely. Like Giuliani said, the cops wouldn't be there if the neighborhood wasn't crap.

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