Of­fi­cers in fa­tal NYC shoot­ing won’t be charged

The Buffalo News - - STATE NEWS - By Lauren Cook

AL­BANY – At­tor­ney Gen­eral Leti­tia James will not seek crim­i­nal charges against the NYPD of­fi­cers in the fa­tal shoot­ing of Sa­heed Vas­sell in Crown Heights.

The de­ci­sion comes nearly a year af­ter Vas­sell, 34, was shot mul­ti­ple times by four of­fi­cers who were re­spond­ing to re­ports of a man bran­dish­ing what ap­peared to be a gun at passers-by. Vas­sell was ac­tu­ally hold­ing a weld­ing torch.

In a re­port re­leased Fri­day by James’ Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions and Prosecutions Unit, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said they did not find ad­e­quate ev­i­dence to war­rant charges against the of­fi­cers.

Vas­sell’s fa­ther, who met with James be­fore her de­ci­sion was an­nounced on Fri­day, said he was “sad­dened and dis­ap­pointed” by the out­come.

“It is heart­break­ing that once again, the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem is treat­ing po­lice as if they are above the law, and fail­ing to hold them ac­count­able for killing an un­armed black man,” Eric Vas­sell said in a state­ment Fri­day.

The re­port also out­lined two rec­om­men­da­tions: “com­pre­hen­sive” crit­i­cal in­ci­dent train­ing for 911 op­er­a­tors and po­lice dis­patch­ers and a re­view of the NYPD’s poli­cies and prac­tices that de­ter­mine what in­for­ma­tion is re­leased to the pub­lic in po­lice-in­volved shoot­ing cases.

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