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Body camera video of man shot by cops in Hamilton Heights released by NYPD

The NYPD released body camera footage on Monday of a police-involved shooting that injured an armed man in Hamilton Heights on Oct. 27, 2017. The man, identified by police as Paris Cummings, was shot in the leg by an officer after he charged at the cop with a knife in his hand, police said. (Credit: NYPD) (Credit: NYPD)

The NYPD released body camera footage on Monday that shows the moments leading up to a police officer opening fire on a man in Hamilton Heights last month.

The video, which documents part of the Oct. 22 shooting of Paris Cummings, starts around 5:30 p.m. as two officers knock on the door of a sixth-floor apartment in a building on West 143rd Street, between Riverside Drive and Broadway.

As soon as the door opens, the officers, 11-year veteran Alvin Pizarro and newly minted rookie Gino Guerra, become defensive and begin to shout for Cummings to “put the knife down.” As Pizarro – the officer wearing the camera – steps into the doorway and raises his weapon, Cummings can be seen holding something in his left hand as he backs up in the apartment. The video, which lasts less than a minute, ends with Cummings charging Pizarro with what appears to be a knife in his hand.

Pizarro fires his gun once and Cummings falls to the floor just before the video cuts off. The footage released by police does not show what transpired immediately after the shooting.

Cummings, 27, suffered a non-life-threatening injury to his leg in the shooting, police said. The officers administered first aid and called for an ambulance, Assistant Chief Rodney Harrison said at the time. Cummings was treated at Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital.

He later was indicted on charges of attempted murder and assault of a police officer and pleaded not guilty, court records show.

Pizarro and Guerra were initially called to the location for a report of an emotionally disturbed man who was attempting suicide, police said. Following the shooting, police said Cummings had answered the door holding two knives and refused to drop them even after repeated demands from the officers that he do so.

The video was the second one released since the NYPD began a wider rollout of body-worn cameras throughout the department in April. Police brass have decided to show videos on a case-by-case basis in incidents where cops discharge their weapons.

According to NYPD chief Kevin Maloney of the force investigation division, the department still has the case under review and will decide if the shooting was found to be justified.

Pizarro — the officer who fired the single shot — was one of the first officers in the 30th precinct to wear a body camera, which he received on Oct. 16 — less than a week before the incident, Maloney said. Guerra was not equipped with a camera; the technology only was given to officers in the precinct’s anti-crime and domestic violence units, Maloney said.

Another video, which involves the Nov. 13 fatal police shooting of a man who officials said had stabbed two women in Brooklyn, is expected to be released later this week.

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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