NYPD Don’t Kill Our Mentally Ill March: Brooklyn mourns mentally ill man killed by NYPD
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Brooklyn, NY – Over a hundred people gathered in front of the home of recent NYPD victim Dwayne Juene in Flatbush, Brooklyn, on August 19, 2017; to protest the killing of the mentally ill by NYPD. After a brief press conference, relatives of victims and advocacy groups led a march to the 67th Precinct where Officer Miguel Gonzalez is based.
“Currently, only 13% of the NYPD’s uniformed officers are trained to deal with people with mental illness. This is absolutely and unambiguously unacceptable. Black Lives Matter Greater NY has advocated for too many of these victims. It is time that Mayor DeBlasio and Commissioner O’Neil paid attention to this problem. I have looked into the eyes of the victims families as they wonder why this happened. The answer is that New York City and America as a whole doesn’t care enough to end these killings.” Said Hawk Newsome, President, Black Lives Matter Greater New York.
Dwayne Jeune, 32, a man whose mother called the police to report that he was acting erratically was fatally shot last Monday by one of the police officers who responded to the family’s apartment in Brooklyn.
Officer Miguel Gonzalez of the 67th Precinct was identified by law-enforcement sources as the cop who fatally fired five shots at Dwayne Jeune.
Gonzalez also shot and wounded another mentally ill man under similar circumstances last year, Davonte Pressley was shot three times in the torso by Gonzalez outside a coin laundry in East Flatbush.
Police sources said officers were called to the home and found Jeune to be combative and threatening. Officers tried to use a Taser on him twice, but it didn’t work. That’s when police say Jeune pushed an officer to the ground and stood over him with a carving knife, prompting Officer Miguel Gonzalez to open fire.
“Over the last eight months my law firm, Rubenstein & Rynecki, has been retained to represent 4 families who have lost mentally ill loved ones who were killed by the NYPD. These killings must stop! We need all NYPD officers to learn how to interface with the NYPD mentally ill. A task force is needed to improve protocol in these situation and Gov. Cuomo needs to extend his executive order involving unarmed civilians killed by the police to give the Attorney General Jurisdiction to prosecute police officers if a crime was committed by the police in killing a mentally ill person.” Said Attorney Sanford Rubenstein.
The family and elected officials are calling on the NYPD to reevaluate how officers handle the mentally ill. While some of the officers dispatched that day were specially trained, the officer who fired his weapon was not.
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