Father of Saheed Vassell Calls for Greater Accountability of NYPD Officers Responsible for His Son’s Killing, and Demands Prosecution
New York— Eric Vassell, father of Saheed Vassell, today made his first public comments since media leaks Friday evening revealed the names of NYPD officers responsible for killing his son.
In the statement below, Mr. Vassell calls the NYPD’s investigation into his son’s death a “sham,” and demands that the Attorney General indict and prosecute all officer involved.
He also emphasizes that the Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD, and the Attorney General should release unedited footage they have collected of Saheed’s murder and the officers involved.
"We shouldn't have to wait sixteen weeks for media leaks to find out the names of the NYPD officers who murdered my son Saheed. And my family shouldn’t have to keep waiting for the police department and Attorney General to complete their investigations when it took the police less than 24 hours to declare that my son’s killing was justified. It adds to my family's pain to learn that in all of this time, none of the four officers have been assigned to modified duty, even while the NYPD claims they are still conducting their investigation. The message this sends is that the investigation of the four officers who recklessly killed my son in a hail of at least 10 bullets in broad daylight is a sham, meant simply to protect these officers instead of attempting to uncover the truth,” said Eric Vassell.
“We are still demanding that Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD and the Attorney General’s let us view all unedited footage they have collected of the officers and the incident. We demand to know why the Strategic Response Group was among those who responded. And we call on the Attorney General's office to move forward to indict and prosecute the four officers for the reckless murder of my son," said Eric Vassell.
Supporters of the Vassell family are also speaking out against how the NYPD seems more interested in protecting officers than revealing what happened to Saheed and holding officers accountable for their actions.
“The NYPD should have immediately released the names of all the officers responsible for killing Saheed Vassell back in April, instead of releasing selectively edited video meant to criminalize Saheed and justify the killing. This is not transparency, and learning that none of the officers were put on modified duty while the NYPD and Attorney General's office are still conducting their investigations makes it seem that the de Blasio administration is more interested in protecting officers who kill unarmed New Yorkers than seeking truth or protecting Saheed's Crown Heights community,” said Mark Winston-Griffith, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a grassroots community organization in central Brooklyn that has worked closely with the Vassell family to seek justice for Saheed.
“Saheed Vassell was a father, son, brother and a beloved member of his Brooklyn community and he should still be with us today," said Winston-Griffith of the Brooklyn Movement Center.
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.
CPR brings together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.