They could have shot him in the arm or leg, somewhere where he could drop and still be alive.
NYPD officers in Bronx were responding to an alert from shot spotter when they found Rashaun Lloyd around the same area the alert was coming from. They claim that he waved a 9mm handgun at them and started walking towards them. Immediately, they opened fire and shot him 31 good times. There was no hesitation at all.
“The suspect then starts to walk towards the officers, pointing his gun at them. Three officers fired a total of 31 shots, some of which struck the suspect,” NYPD officer Larry Nikunen said.
Their response was mind-boggling, they used excessive force to bring him down without thinking. If they had given him the command to freeze, probably they wouldn’t have had to shoot him at all.
“They could have shot him in the arm or leg, somewhere where he could drop and still be alive. 31 shots is ridiculous,” Ivy Vasquetelles, a friend of Rashaun responded.
Meanwhile, reports from the family of the victim suggest that he was mentally unstable. His mother made mention of how his conviction of robbery (in which he was innocent) and imprisonment changed him and affected him psychologically.
“My son was supposed to be on meds, and I don’t know if he was taking them. I haven’t seen him in a few months”, she noted.
Statistics prove that 25% of people shot by the police were mentally ill. Meaning that one out of 4 people the police shot needed professional help and not brutal cops, who had no experience in dealing with mentally affected people. Police departments should train cops to know how to deal with ‘special’ suspects, just because their lives matter too.
The need to reform police department has been clear to everyone for long. Rashaun Lloyd’s case is just one of many but we can’t let it be looked over. We demand justice for him and other mentally ill victims of police brutality.
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