A 32-year-old East Flatbush man was reportedly shot and killed by a police officer inside of an apartment on Monday afternoon. According to the Ditmas Park Patch, the man—whose mother described as “nonviolent” and “emotionally disturbed” during a 9-1-1 call—was pronounced dead around 1 p.m.
NYPD and fire officials say four officers responded to the mother’s call from the fifth floor of 1370 New York Avenue around 12:30 p.m. When they arrived, the man allegedly “charged toward them” with “a large carving knife” in tow, prompting officers to tase him. When the man didn’t “slow down,” a second officer shot him in the chest, says Terence Monahan, NYPD Chief of Patrol.
He was pronounced dead on the scene.
The story is disturbingly similar to that of Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old mentally ill Black woman who was shot and killed inside her Bronx residence by Sgt. Hug Barry in October. “Debbie had no reason to die, and the cop had no reason to shoot her,” Wallace Cooke, Danner’s cousin and NYPD retiree, told the New York Daily News. Barry was ultimately charged with murder in Danner’s fatal shooting, but what is being done to ensure officers are following protocol regarding emotionally disturbed people, and how many more incidents such as these will it take before they get it together?
Steve Coe, CEO of Community Access, says such incidents are “still all too common.”
“Though we don’t know all the details of this afternoon’s shooting, we do know that not enough police officers have received Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), an evidence-based, 40-hour program where officers learn how to properly defuse a situation with a person exhibiting emotional distress,” Coe told the Patch.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams said in a statement, “While news is developing around the incident, I am nonetheless concerned with the loss of life that occurred. In particular, whether protocols were followed for dealing with a call for an Emotionally Disturbed Person. Until we get further information, I ask that we keep our prayers with the family.”