Protesters March For Saheed Vassell Following Fatal Police Shooting in Brooklyn

Protesters March For Saheed Vassell Following Fatal Police Shooting in Brooklyn

New York's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, announced that he would investigate the shooting. "Despite the mayor and first lady touting their mental health initiative, they continue to be silent about the repeated killings of people in emotional distress by police, which now totals at least 11 in the past four years", Brooklyn Movement Center Deputy Director Anthonine Pierre said in a statement.

Four of the officers opened fire on Vassell and struck him several times, police said.

According to early reports, the officer fired seven shots, striking the man multiple times.

Vassell's shooting, which took place on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, sparked anger among residents of the area who questioned why the police didn't restrain or taser him.

Police also released partial transcripts of the 911 calls related to the incident, in which two people are quoted describing a man pointing what appeared to be a gun at pedestrians. None of the officers were wearing body cameras, he said.

When the responding officers got to the street corner, Vassell, a father of a teen boy and working welder, reportedly turned to face them, and aimed the object at the police, Monahan stated.

"It's not a crime scene!"

Jaccpot Hinds, 40, said he was walking south on Utica Avenue near the intersection when he saw an unmarked police auto pass him and cross both lanes of traffic near where a man was standing on a street corner.

"Tragedies like this are why we fought for an independent Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit", he said.

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As per an executive order, the attorney general has the authority to oversee investigations into incidents where unarmed civilians die during interactions with police, or incidents where there is significant question as to whether the civilian was armed and risky.

Vassell was the father of a 15-year-old boy, who said that his father, "cared for everybody".

CBS NYC local reported the NYPD declining to comment on whether Vassell had been warned before firing.

Adding, 'It's very sad because it's a dude from around here and a lot of people love him and he don't mess with anybody'. "They didn't say, 'Please.' They didn't say, 'Put your hands up!' Nothing". "They should not train them to kill". "I seen the police vehicle (come) in, police jump out and pop, pop, pop, pop", one witness said.

"They just hopped out of the auto".

"It's nearly like they did a hit", one told The Daily News. "We've got to recognize if they believe they are in immediate matter of life-and-death to the people in the surrounding area, that's an exceedingly hard, tense split-second decision that has to be made". Was Saheed Vassell given fair warning?

As police continue their probe into the fatal shooting of Saheed Vassell, 34, in Crown Heights on Wednesday, the NYPD released additional video of the incident. He frequented local fruit stands and businesses in the Crown Heights neighborhood and lived within two blocks of where he was gunned down.

Vassell's death comes amid heightened tensions nationwide regarding police accountability. Last month, Stephon Clark, an unarmed 22-year-old black man, was killed in his grandmother's backyard by Sacramento police in California.

The family has demanded a coroner's inquest.

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