News Ticker

Family Plan Rally For Decision Of AG Tish James Not Indicting officers Who Killed Saheed Vassell

Eric and Lorna Vassell, the parents of Saheed Vassell, gathered along with Constance Malcolm - mother of Ramarley Graham, Gwen Carr -mother of Eric Garner and Hawa Bah - Mohamed Bah to demand justice for Saheed Thursday, April 12, 2018 at City Hall [Black Westchester]

The family of Saheed Vassell – the bipolar man shot dead by four police officers in 2018 – went to at city hall at 11 am, Wednesday, April 3rd to address their disappointment with the decision of the NYC Attorney General Latisha James not indicting the four officers who murdered Saheed Vassell.

Thursday, April 4th will mark the one year anniversary of Vassell’s murder and the family is planning a rally (see flyer below) and is “asking everyone who can join us to please do. It truly is a war on black and brown people and if we don’t take a stand they will continue to either kill us or lock us up.”

On Friday, March 29th, Attorney General Letitia James’ Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) released its report into the death of Saheed Vassell. Over the course of the investigation, SIPU found that the officers’ actions were legally justified and that there was no adequate evidence to warrant criminal prosecution against the officers involved. In order to prevent another tragedy, and to promote the public’s confidence in how local law enforcement responds to such occurrences, the Office of the Attorney General outlined the following recommendations: 

  1. 911 operators and police dispatchers should receive comprehensive critical incident training. 
  2. The NYPD should review and reform its public information policies and practices regarding which facts it should release to the public in police-involved uses of force. 

Attorney General James released the following statement

“The death of Saheed Vassell was a tragedy, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. The Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit is committed to providing thorough and transparent investigations. We urge the New York Police Department to implement our recommendations.”  

Eric and Lorna -parents of Saheed Vassell speak out against NYPD one year after their son was shot and killed by the police [Black Westchester]

Eric Vassell, father of Saheed, was ejected from a city plaza back on Wednesday, February 27th when he tried to tell the press about his meeting with Attorney General Tish James. Three 28 Liberty Avenue security guards escorted Saheed’s father, activists and press off the plaza shortly after his 45-minute meeting with James to discuss possible charges against the officers who shot his son.

“I am not confident in the indictment,” Vassell said to press in February. “My son was bipolar and I can see how they are treated… in our community, where there are black and brown, they always kill.”

Lorna Vassell, Saheed’s mother stated that she doesn’t believe her son was carrying the metal pipe witnesses mistook for a gun when four police officers shot the bipolar man dead in a Crown Heights street a year ago.

“We don’t believe the NYPD narrative, we never did,” Saheed’s mother stated, Wednesday morning. “We don’t believe Saheed had anything in his hand when he was killed.”

“From the beginning, there have been lies and misinformation overtly spread to make our son look guilty and the NYPD look innocent,” added Mr. Vassell. “Many questions remain unanswered and the public is still misinformed about his murder.”

Eric Vassell has spent the past year advocating for greater police transparency, pleading with the city to release unedited video of the shooting. The family notice of claim filed Thursday, May 31, 2018, the family plans to sue the city and the NYPD for $25 million. They filed the lawsuit in June 2018.

In the three -page document — which is filed before a lawsuit — attorneys Robinson Iglesias and Michael Hueston claim the NYPD officers knew Saheed Vassell “did not pose a threat to the life, health and safety of the police officers and third persons, and failed to take proper steps to diffuse a situation involving an emotionally disturbed person.”

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About AJ Woodson (2279 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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