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It was then that they discovered the man, later identified by the NYPD as Saheed Vassell, 34, of Brooklyn, had not been holding a gun, but a pipe with a knob at the end. (The Post's database has not yet been updated to reflect Vassell's death.) Of those victims, a reported 54 people had a mental illness.

Police released still images from surveillance videos showing Vassell holding the short length of pipe in one hand and pointing it at people in the street before police arrived.

Currently, a Facebook Event titled "Justice for #SaheedVassell" is organizing a march for 6:00 pm tonight, April 5, starting at Utica and Montgomery, near where Vassell was killed.

Jaccbot Hinds, 40, told the Daily News that he witnessed the shooting and said officers did not warn Vassell before opening fire.

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One witness, Jack Hinds, told NBC, "It's nearly like [the police] did a hit".

Vassell said he saw his son, 35-year-old Saheed Vassell, just hours before he was shot by police two blocks from their home Wednesday afternoon. Three of the officers were wearing street clothes, one of them was in a uniform and none of them had body cameras on them at the time, he went on. But they say he was harmless. They also released partial transcripts of three 911 emergency calls. "Every cop in this neighborhood knows him", John Fuller told the Times. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is opening an investigation into the killing of Vassell, his office said Thursday morning.

Jaccpot Hinds, 40, said he was walking in the area when he saw an unmarked police auto pass him and pull across two lanes of traffic near where a man was standing on a street corner.

Not to mention, what kind of police officers can't distinguish between a firearm and a metal pipe? The circumstances surrounding the encounter only worsened his odds of surviving an encounter with police. Four officers were treated for minor injuries, police say.

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New York City has reached a settlement giving Muslims a say in police training and policies, and the city agreed to pay mosques and businesses who said they were illegally targeted for surveillance due to their religion, Muslim groups said Thursday.

The New York Times also reports that interviewed neighbors said that Vassell was well known by his community and by the police, and that the NYPD should have known better than to shoot him, as he was a familiar face. Monahan said that the plainclothes officers were part of an anti-crime unit and that the uniformed officers belonged to the Strategic Response Group, which is assigned to major events and criminal hot spots. He had been issued 120 summonses and had a history of mental health interactions, including at least one contact with police where he was described as being emotionally disturbed.

The shooting drew an angry crowd Wednesday night to the busy Crown Heights intersection to confront about a dozen additional police officers who had arrived at the scene. The teen described Vassell as a caring father. He loved to dance, the Times reported, and was known to pick random things off ground and play with them like toys.

"A police department not acknowledging wrongdoing is akin to a congressman's 'no comment, ' " Farhaj Hassan, the lead plaintiff and a sergeant in the US Army Reserves, told reporters Thursday.

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