Civil Rights Group Responds to Killing of Saheed Vassell by NYPD

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WASHINGTON – On the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., four NYPD officers shot and killed Saheed Vassell in Brooklyn, NY. Advancement Project’s national office released the following statement:

“Saheed Vassell was killed in broad daylight by four police officers who clearly didn’t stop long enough to ask a single question about his condition,” said Judith Browne-Dianis, Executive Director of the Advancement Project national office. “We know that any concern over Mr. Vassell’s condition should have been met with mental health supports and that is not the role that police are trained to play. The level of force these officers used was undoubtedly far too excessive and led to an untimely and unjustified death.”

“There are a number of instances where police are responding with extreme violence toward people of color who show signs of mental health struggles. It is no coincidence that this is the approach police are taking in communities of color.”

“This happened on the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.,” she continued, “It’s a chilling reminder of how much we have yet to overcome.”

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