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The New York Police Department on September 14 released graphic and disturbing body camera footage from the fatal police shooting of a man named Miguel Richards, who, it turned out, was holding a toy gun when he was shot.
You can watch the video below, but be aware that it is extremely disturbing.
The fatal shooting of Richards, 31, occurred the week before in the Bronx. According to Gothamist, police had gone to Richards’ home for a wellness check after his landlord expressed concern about him. The video contains a note saying that it is a compilation of video obtained from three officers’ body cameras.
Noted Gothamist, “The shooting was the first of its kind to be captured on an NYPD body cam.”
“Get your hands up brother… I am begging you,” a man’s voice shouts (Gothamist says police told the news media this man was a friend of Richards). “Do this for your mother, brother.”
A police officer tells Richards to put a knife down. Then, the officer says, “Talk to me…What’s in your other hand.” Richards is told to “drop it. Drop that gun.”
The situation intensifies and an officer says: “Ricardo, is that a real gun you got there? Ricardo I don’t want to shoot you if you have a fake gun in your hand, do you hear me? But I will shoot you if that’s a real gun…Ricardo, I am not telling you again. Drop that gun, and drop that knife, Ricardo.” (The man called Ricardo in the video is Miguel Richards.)
Eventually, the officer opens fire into the bedroom where Richards was holed up.
The Patrolman’s Benevolent Association opposed the release of the video so early in the case.
Legal Aid NYC released a statement saying that Richards appears to pose no immediate threat to officers.
According to ABC 7, Richards’ father claimed that Richards was “murdered.”