NYC police defend fatal shooting with video, 911 transcripts

Police seeking to quell simmering anger over their shooting of a mentally disturbed black man on a New York City street released a montage of security videos Thursday that showed him minutes earlier thrusting a metal object that looked like a gun into the faces of several people — including a woman holding the hand of her child.

A final video snippet showed the man raising the object in a two-handed shooting stance as police arrived, the edited video frozen just before officers unleashed 10 shots that left 34-year-old Saheed Vassell dead. His weapon turned out to be nothing more than an L-shaped section of pipe.

The shooting in Brooklyn on Wednesday evening prompted protests among many who felt police should have known that Vassell, a fixture in the Crown Heights neighborhood, had emotional problems.

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