Tourists film New York police shooting

2012-08-13 12:06

New York - Bystanders in New York whipped out cellphones to film the shooting by police of a man allegedly threatening them with a knife in the tourism magnet of Times Square.

Saturday's confrontation between the man and police was all caught by passersby, who, although apparently horrified, ran to get a better look - until the encounter ended in a hail of bullets.

One film of the incident posted on NBC television's website shows the suspect, wearing a white shirt, backing away from a large number of police, while bystanders yelled and tried to keep pace.

Suddenly, a volley of about a dozen shots rang out, prompting shrieks and shouting in the crowd.

The New York Times website ran a photograph taken by a Brazilian tourist, Lincoln Rocha, in which two officers draw their weapons and point them at the man carrying what appeared to be a knife.

A video on the Times site taken by another tourist shows the man running backward from police. A bystander can be heard warning him to lie down, shouting: "They're going to shoot you bro!"

Excessive force

Other bystanders can be seen sprinting and holding up their cameras over their heads to get better angles of the drama.

Police said the man threatened them, refused to surrender and that officers were unable to subdue him with pepper spray. When he lunged at police, they fired 12 shots, NBC reported, killing him.

The New York Daily News quoted relatives of the slain man Sunday saying that excessive force was used. "It doesn't take 12 bullets to kill one person," the dead man's aunt, Margaret Johnson, told the newspaper. "I think it could have been done another way."

However, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was quoted by local media as saying that police "responded appropriately".

Times Square is the site of the New Year's Eve countdown party and is in the heart of Manhattan's theatre district.

  • - 2012-08-13 12:21

    The police officers in the USA are one of the deadliest in the world.From the picture the guy was probably holding a knife but these officers could have shot him in the leg instead of showering him with bullets.The guy could be mentally ill, we will never know as the trigger happy cops have silenced him.I watch the program "cops" online and the cops in the USA scare the hell out of me.I mean they will beat you up or shoot you over a simple argument.

      mofstok - 2012-08-13 12:46

      Your post is ignorant. Think before writing crap next time please.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-13 16:29

      He should have just listened to them

  • harley.quin.334 - 2012-08-13 12:36

    don't bring a knife to a gun fight

  • tuco.angeleyes - 2012-08-13 12:38

    Now thats looks like the wild wild west right there. *hectic*

  • John Peter Steyn - 2012-08-13 12:38

    Listen to the police!

  • flysouth - 2012-08-13 12:43

    Shoot him in the leg? Really? - are those that advocate this in any way experienced in pistol shooting? I think not. What happens when the shot at the leg misses, hits the pavement and ricochets, instantly killing an innocent bystander? Aiming at centre of body-mass is the only safe way in such urban and crowded circumstances. The rights of the perpetrator are very much secondary then - and that is the way it must and should be and to hell with the so-called 'human rights' of dangerous people. Any person, either here or in USA who wants to disregard numerous warnings from armed police whilst threatening with a knife knows exactly what is coming next.

      mofstok - 2012-08-13 12:47


      mofstok - 2012-08-13 14:30

      Firstly, the cowboy comment is disingenuous and rather insulting. Secondly, the use of lethal force is considered a last resort action as it is. It is to be applied in such a manner as to neutralize the threat without exposing bystanders to unacceptable levels of risk. There is always a risk of ricochet, hence lethal force being a last resort. Shooting somebody in the legs is a BAD idea: you can very likely kill or cripple them for life, as well as endangering others because the target is much smaller than the torso.

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-08-13 12:54

    I don't care how many thumbs down I may get...that was brutal,police go through extensive firearm training over a period of yes they should know how to distabilise an offensive individual without killing him....if it was just 1 cop ok maybe it would be understandable....

      mofstok - 2012-08-13 12:57

      Please read the article: they attempted non-lethal means before resorting to lethal force. In America you do as the police order you to do, he knew what the consequences were if he didn't. The police in the US are extensively trained. You cannot compare their standards of policing with the nonexistent standards of the SAPS.

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-08-13 14:50

      the NY police could probably take on our army, they are THAT WELL TRAINED.

  • mofstok - 2012-08-13 13:03

    The cops are doing their jobs. Occasionally it happens that a criminal is shot dead. Why is everyone so upset when a man attacks policemen and he ends up dead? Are you seriously surprised at this? What if he attacked YOU?

  • JournoSergio - 2012-08-13 13:41

    The police in the U.S are very strict when it comes to the discharge of a firearm. I'm sure that the officer who acted did so as a last resort. The number of discharged rounds does seem slightly excessive though, unless he is a bad shot...

      mofstok - 2012-08-13 13:45

      When under attack the police are to shoot until the threat is neutralized. Depending upon shot placement, the individuals physiology, whether or not narcotic substances have been used, and other factors it could take many gunshots to incapacitate a person. There are documented instances of more than 17 shots needed to down a suspect, and even then he managed to knife an officer to death.

      mofstok - 2012-08-13 14:33

      And you seem to be an advocate of idiocy. I can assure you the NYPD will investigate each and every shooting performed by their members in full. Police bash all you want, don't come cry by me when you are being murdered by some scumbag and nobody shows up.

      mofstok - 2012-08-13 15:55

      No, I just pay attention to the world around me. Go educate yourself and come speak to me like a grown man, as opposed to hurling childish insults like a spoiled brat. Unless doing so is beneath your mental capacity, which I suspect is true since our interactions have been less than edifying to me.

      mofstok - 2012-08-13 15:58

      Also, CHiPs was about the California Highway Patrol, which happens to be on America's West Coast. New York is about 4000km away on the East Coast. I suggest you go study some Geography as well.

      boris.dietrol - 2012-08-13 16:08

      Don't worry about andrew mofstok: he got his ass handed to him in an argument and now cannot man up enough to take it on the chin and walk away. Hahahaha! Loser!

  • David Rogers - 2012-08-13 13:41

    the dead mans aunt said there could have been another way! strafing him with a helicopter gunship comes to mind!

  • shaun.cullen.528 - 2012-08-13 14:32

    I have an intense dislike for cops, having said that, if someone points a gun at you, let alone several, you do as they say unless you want to get shot. let someone with a knife threaten you after you have warned him a few times to put his weapon down and then YOU tell ME how much sympathy you'd feel and how humane you'd be.

  • WarrenStylin - 2012-08-13 14:34

    I don't understand people. If the cops don't shoot him and he kills someone else a few days later, the Cops are at fault. If they shoot the guy now then they are too brutal. What if the guy was on drugs (PCP), what if he was on CrystalMeth? What if he was already known to be a violent criminal.

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