Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

NYPD Releases Officers' Body Camera Footage Of Bronx Police Shooting

NYPD Releases Officers' Body Camera Footage Of Bronx Police Shooting

The video shows an officer shining a flashlight on Richards as Richards kneels on his bed wearing dark glasses and holding a knife.

The NYPD acted, over the objection of local prosecutors, in response to public pressure over the September 6 fatal shooting in the Bronx of a knife-wielding man with a history of mental illness. His right hand was behind his back.

"Wanna take him down now?" an officer asks just before police gunned down Miguel Richards, video shows.

In addition to the knife, Richards was also holding a toy gun. "Put your hands up dude, it's not a joke".

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The shooting is the first recorded on NYPD body cameras, which are being worn by more and more officers over the coming months.

The situation intensifies and an officer says: "Ricardo, is that a real gun you got there?"

NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said the 16-minute footage comprises video from four officers who were wearing body cameras, which the NYPD started using earlier this year.

"I don't want to shoot you".

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The video, which represents the first time the nation's largest police force has given out body cam footage, appears to bolster the NYPD position that Richards, 31, was shot only after being repeatedly warned by police during the 90-minute standoff inside his Bronx apartment. A friend of Richards on the other end joined the chorus of voices urging him to drop his weapons and put his hands up. Ricardo, I am not telling you again.

Eventually, the officer opens fire into the bedroom where Richards was holed up. Richards's friend can be heard from behind the officers, yelling "Put your hands up dude, it's not a joke", and "Put your hands up dude, I'm begging you".

Legal Aid NYC released a statement saying that Richards appears to pose no immediate threat to officers.

The encounter with Richards began after his landlord summoned the police to the building to check on Richards, who the landlord said had not been seen for some time.

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While Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill supported the idea of releasing the video to the public, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said that she would have preferred the video not be released until after her investigation of the shooting. Another law enforcement source said police wanted to be as transparent as they could be about the release of the recordings, which is within their purview.

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