The New York City Police Department received several 911 calls on Wednesday just before 5 p.m. ET about a man pointing what was described as a "silver firearm" at people along Utica Avenue near the corner of Montgomery Street, according to Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
Officers say they opened fire Wednesday after Vassell, 34, pointed an object at them that was later found to be a metal pipe. Protestors took to the streets for two nights, saying Vassell was a mentally disturbed man well-known to members of the community and that police should have known that and acted accordingly.
The New York Police Department has reached a settlement with New Jersey Muslim groups who accused officers of illegal surveillance of mosques, student groups and businesses after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to court documents filed on Thursday. "They didn't say put your hands up, nothing".
In a clip of surveillance footage released by the New York City Police Department, Vassell is seen walking down the street wearing a baseball cap and a brown jacket. "A young man in his own community, shot down - yet again!"
Police said they thought he had a gun, but he was carrying only a cellphone when he was confronted in his grandmother's back yard.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) is investigating the death of a Brooklyn man shot by officers who mistook a metal pipe for a gun. He frequented local fruit stands and businesses in the Crown Heights neighborhood and lived within two blocks of where he was gunned down.
Vassell was pronounced dead at a hospital; four officers were treated for minor injuries.
Before shooting, the officers yelled at Vassell to "drop it, drop it", the officials said about the incident that happened in "seconds".
Vassell was the father of a 15-year-old boy, who said that his father, "cared for everybody".
Jaccbot Hinds, who was one of the witnesses at the time of shooting, said officers jumped out of their unmarked police vehicle and fired at Vassell without warning. "We have to stay straight on the facts of this incident".
Angry crowds gathered in Brooklyn after police shot unarmed Saheed Vassel 10 times. "If this individual with a loaded weapon, who for whatever reason, including a mental health challenge, was ready to use it, that's a split-second matter of trying to save lives right then and there".