Over a thousand people joined the family of Saheed Vassell for a memorial and march to the 71 precinct
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Brooklyn, NY – Over a thousand people in Crown Heights, joined the family of Saheed Vassell, an unarmed Black man shot dead by NYPD on Wednesday night; for a memorial rally on April 5, 2018; followed by a march to the NYPD 71 precinct to demand justice and accountability for the killing of for Saheed Vassell.
On the 50th anniversary of the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, police shot and killed unarmed 34 year-old Saheed Vassell in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
A Jamaican-born immigrant, welder, and father, Saheed was a beloved member of the community. He was bipolar and known to the area’s police — but was considered “harmless” by everyone who knew him. Instead of receiving the help and treatment he needed, police fired 10 shots within seconds of arriving on the scene — killing Saheed. The NYPD has refused to answer whether officers warned Saheed before shooting.
Five officers — three in plainclothes and two in uniform — responded to the scene at Utica Avenue and Montgomery Street, when they arrived, they saw Vassell “brandishing what appeared to be a firearm, pointing it at people. “The suspect then took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers,” police said. Four of the officers opened fire on Vassell and struck him several times, police said. In all, three plainclothes officers and one uniformed officer fired 10 rounds among them
Police claimed Saheed had a gun, but no gun was ever found at the scene — just a metal pipe with a knob on the end. Now another innocent unarmed black man with a mental illness is dead, his community and family are shattered.
We can not begin to address gun violence in America without addressing the epidemic of police violence against black and brown people.
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