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NYPD Left With No Choice But to Kill More and More People in Mental Distress, NYPD Says

And more news to start your Tuesday.

NYPD SUV

(Gianandrea Villa / Unsplash)

Early on Sunday morning, two NYPD officers shot and killed Brooklyn resident and home health aide Andre Mayfield, after the 26 year old tapped on their car window. According to the official police account, after the two officers exited their car, they saw that Mayfield had a knife in each hand. They then fired their Tasers at Mayfield, causing him to fall and drop one of his knives; Mayfield then "charged" the officers, they said, leaving the two, it seems, no option but to shoot and kill him. 

According to Mayfield's father Joseph, his son had depression. "They didn't have to shoot him four times," Joseph told the New York Daily News. "They should've Tased him again. He was shot in the arm, the shoulder, the face and the head."

Mayfield's killing comes two months after the NYPD shot and killed Queens teenager Win Rozario, who was suffering mental distress, within minutes of entering his home. An investigation by NY1 found that police officers have killed at least 20 people who are experiencing a mental health crisis since 2015, and that in recent years, the NYPD has responded in those situations with even more violence: 

A review of data from the NYPD obtained through the Freedom of Information Law has found the number of violent incidents with police that involve a person in crisis has risen 36 percent since 2017, even higher in 2019 before the pandemic.

There were nearly 1,800 violent incidents last year. Those incidents included the use of a firearm five times. A Taser was used 363 times—an increase of nearly 60 percent from 2017. Physical force was used 1,196 times.

Rozario's killing, which many have described as an "execution," was painted as necessary by the NYPD. "They had no choice but to defend themselves, discharging their firearms," the NYPD's Chief of Patrol John Chell said of the officers who Tased and killed Rozario. 

On Sunday, Chell painted a similar picture. “When it comes to emotionally disturbed people, we do everything we can to de-escalate, but sometimes it doesn't work out the way we want," he said, during a press conference after his officers shot and killed yet another New Yorker.

And some links that won't shoot and kill you:

  • There's only one movie theater left in the Bronx now.
  • So Wildwood, New Jersey, declared a state of emergency and cited "civil unrest" because of groups of rowdy teenagers? I think we all know what happened there…
  • According to the New York Post, "the Adams administration has been working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to work around New York City's strict sanctuary city laws."
  • Noooooooooooooooooooooooo, anyone but him…
  • "Man charged with tossing flammable liquid on commuters at subway stations"
  • Via the New York Times: "For more than a decade, a little-known New York State fund has paid the medical expenses of children who have suffered neurological injuries as a result of medical malpractice during childbirth. In that time, the fund has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to 963 families, helping to pay for hospital stays, nursing care, speech therapy and in-home medical equipment, among other costs. But with little warning, the state shuttered the fund earlier this month. A financial report released around the time of the closing projected that the fund would eventually face a shortfall of at least $3.2 billion—a figure that would rise if the fund continued to enroll new children."
  • Would it surprise you to learn that a whole lot of NYC marshals are rude, racist, and flout the rules? 
  • Chris Alexander, the head of the Office of Cannabis Management, has resigned
  • "These detectives were…exactly where they were supposed to be, and probably prevented a shooting tonight," NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said, after an NYPD officer driving an unmarked car hit a man (now in critical condition) fleeing other officers.
  • A State Assembly race on the Upper West Side is heating up as the incumbent backs the political outsider candidate.
  • Some bad news for the Hudson River.
  • And some bad news for Mets owner Steve Cohen: Queens State Senator Jessica Ramos is a "no" on Cohen's much-desired casino. She told New York Magazine, " We're not in a place to host a casino. The people who are here, they're hoping to build generational wealth. And I just don't see how a casino helps us meet that goal. I mean, it's literally the opposite. It's the extraction of the very little wealth we have."
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