Thousands Protest in Brooklyn over Police Killing of Bipolar African-American Man

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The New York State Attorney General’s Office has announced it would investigate the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed African-American man who was bipolar. Police say officers shot Saheed Vassell after mistaking a metal pipe he was holding for a gun. Over a thousand protesters gathered in Brooklyn at the scene of the shooting on Thursday.

Maria: “My name is Maria. And a friend of mine was shot down, shot 10 times, by the cops. He was very caring. I felt very comfortable. I would come home from work at 2 in the morning, and I will feel so comfortable when I see him, because I knew he was going to protect me and walk me all the way to my door, without being afraid of him. I wasn’t afraid of nothing. I knew him all my life, since he was a little kid.”

Najha Zigby-Johnson: “Hi. My name is Najha Zigby-Johnson, and I’m a long-term resident of Harlem. New York’s my home. And we’ve been seeing shootings happen too much. Too much. And something that’s really important that we heard today were folks talking about community accountability. The cops do not protect us. The cops were not created to protect us. And so, we need to come together and figure out alternative ways to protect and care for our own communities.”

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