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New NYPD drive encourages sex assault victims to come forward

08 April 2018

A spokesperson for Eric Schneiderman said in a statement his office is "committed to conducting an independent, comprehensive, and fair investigation" into Wednesday's shooting. Vassell was transported to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood, where he was pronounced dead, according to Monahan.

Police on Thursday released security camera footage that showed Vassell approaching people on the street and pointing the pipe at them as if it were a pistol.

The shooting comes just two weeks after police fatally shot Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California, after receiving calls that someone in the neighborhood was breaking auto windows. "He looks like he's insane, but he's pointing something at people that looks like a gun", one caller tells the dispatcher.

The NYPD says the responding officers thought he had a gun.

Following the rally, a crowd of several hundred marched to the 71st Precinct, shutting down both lanes of traffic on Empire Boulevard. Although he admitted that pointing a pipe at people may have caused panic, Eric Vassell said the officers acted rashly.

Mr Vassell's father, Eric, said his son had bipolar disorder, The New York Times reported.

"The just hopped out of the vehicle".

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Witnesses say they did so - without warning.

Clarke said she looks forward to working with elected officials in ensuring that "the appropriate focus is given to addressing the mentally ill and their interactions with NYPD, and proper, clear and transparent protocols are in place to make sure that lethal force is used as a last resort when interacting with the mentally ill of our communities, so we can avoid losing another life to unnecessary violence".

"How you get the full facts of what the person has in their hand, and what their mental health condition might be, and are they known to anyone, in something that's playing out in seconds and minutes, that's a very tall order", the mayor reportedly added.

The New York attorney general has opened an investigation into the death of a man police fatally shot in Brooklyn earlier this week.

"We must not accept the criminalization of men and women suffering from mental illness as the status quo", Clarke demanded. After 10 shots to his body, Vassell now has been added to the ever growing list of Black men killed by police.

Transcripts from the 911 calls all describe Vassell the same way. The officers feared he had a gun, but it turned out he was holding a cellphone, Sacramento police said. We have to stay straight on the facts with this incident today.

Angry protesters Thursday evening held a vigil at the site where Vassell was gunned down, demanding justice in his shooting.

New NYPD drive encourages sex assault victims to come forward