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NYPD must release ‘all the video’ in Saheed Vassell shooting, Sharpton says

“The video we’re not seeing is of what the police did,” Rev. Al Sharpton said in an appearance with Vassell’s parents in Crown Heights.

The Rev. Al Sharpton follows Eric and Lorna

The Rev. Al Sharpton follows Eric and Lorna Vassell to a news conference outside the Vassell family home in Crown Heights on Sunday. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Rev. Al Sharpton stood on Sunday with the family of a man fatally shot by police in Brooklyn and called on the NYPD to release “all the video” of last week’s incident.

Saheed Vassell was fatally shot by four officers in Crown Heights on Wednesday after he was seen walking with a metal pipe that police said resembled a weapon. Police have said several people called 911 to report a man with what looked like a gun.

A day later, the NYPD released transcripts of 911 calls and video appearing to show Vassell approaching bystanders and pointing the pipe at people.

“The video we’re not seeing is of what the police did. When did they arrive? When did they get out of the car? What did they do? What did they say?” Sharpton said. “This is not fair.”

Sharpton, standing with Vassell’s parents outside their Crown Street home, added he was visiting Martin Luther King Jr.’s grave when he was told about the shooting. He said Vassell suffered from mental illness, but that his parents couldn’t force him to take medication because he was an adult. He did not specify if Vassell was ever on medication.

“These are solid people and they’re asking for justice,” he added. “But justice is not castigating their son and just showing the films and footage of someone who they say had issues.

“Let us all have enough humanity about us that we don’t just try to try those that are dead and exonerate those that are living. Let the facts come up,” Sharpton said. “You don’t shoot to kill in other communities and you must stop doing it in our community.”

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has opened an investigation into the shooting. And separately the NYPD will conduct its own review of the shooting, police have said.


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