The Muslim plaintiffs alleged in a 2012 lawsuit that in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks NYPD officers violated their civil rights by surveilling them exclusively on the basis of their religion.
'All he did was just walk around the neighborhood, ' Wilson said.
Of the five police officers who responded, four fired at Vassell - killing him in a hail of 10 bullets.
"There's a guy walking around the street, he looks like he's insane, but he's pointing something at people that looks like a gun and he's like popping it, as if, like if he's pulling the trigger", another caller said. The unidentified officers, who were not wearing body cameras, discovered the metal pipe at the scene.
The police chief also showed an image of the metal object found at the scene after the shooting, which he described as "a pipe with some sort of knob on the end of it".
Vassell lived just around the corner from where the shooting took place. The man shot was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.
Yesterday afternoon, NYPD officers shot and killed Saheed Vassell, a Crown Heights man thought to be brandishing a gun.
"It's not a crime scene!"
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"These police are murderers, and you know it too".
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is investigating the incident, said his office was committed to an "independent, comprehensive and fair investigation".
The terms of the settlement also state that the plaintiffs in the case will be allowed to provide input on a forthcoming NYPD policy guide that will cover proper conduct and guidelines for its investigations. Multiple media outlets spoke to his father, who said his son had bipolar disorder.
Activists there planned a rally for Thursday to require justice and by midday greater than 800 persons had signaled on face book that they would enroll in. "I saw him carrying in items at all hours of the day".
Four of the officers discharged ten rounds at the suspect before giving him first aid and calling an ambulance. They're just not going to admit it.
One witness, Jack Hinds, told NBC, "It's nearly like [the police] did a hit". "They say it's a gun". "They didn't say 'freeze, ' 'stop, ' do anything, 'put your hands up, ' nothing". Vassell was a black man, bringing the entire blurry catalog of implicit biases that infect all police interactions into play. NYPD representatives did not immediately respond to questions sent by email Thursday morning.
Others told the Times Vassell "was a familiar figure on the corner", and that "he had a penchant for picking things up off the street - cigarette lighters, empty bottles and other curbside flotsam - and playing with them like toys".