CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — The New York State Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday that it will investigate the deadly police-involved shooting in Brooklyn.
The announcement from Eric Schneiderman’s office came Thursday morning, less than 18 hours after the man, identified as Saheed Vassell, was shot and killed on a street in Crown Heights by officers who mistook the pipe for a gun.
“The Attorney General’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit has opened an investigation into the death of Saheed Vassell, pursuant to the Attorney General’s authority under Executive Order No. 147,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “We’re committed to conducting an independent, comprehensive, and fair investigation.”
That executive order appoints the AG special prosecutor to oversee investigations into deadly police shootings of unarmed civilians or cases where there are questions as to whether the civilian was armed and dangerous.
Wednesday’s shooting comes amid nationwide uproar over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California. In that case, officers responding to a call about someone breaking windows shot and killed the 22-year-old Clark in his grandmother’s backyard.
Officers said they fired their weapons because they believed Clark was holding a gun, though he was holding only a cellphone.