The family of Mohamed Bah, who died at the hands of police officers in 2012, is accusing the NYPD of covering up the death of the Black man, the Huffington Post reports.
The man’s mother, Hawa Bah, called 911 after he locked himself in his Manhattan apartment in September 2012. Believing he was depressed and mentally unstable, Hawa requested an ambulance. Instead of EMT workers, the NYPD and members of the Emergency Services Unit arrived on sight without speaking to her.
Initial reports claim the officers slid a camera under Bah’s door to monitor his activity. Bah then opened the door and allegedly pointed a foot-long knife at the officers. He was hit with a stun gun and rubber bullets several times, but kept wielding the knife. After an officer’s vest was reportedly slashed, another officer shot the 28-year-old in the chest.
Bah was pronounced dead at the apartment.
Debra Cohen, a lawyer for the Bah family, claims most of the important factors from the initial report were covered up. Speaking to reporters outside the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Tuesday evening, Cohen said the NYPD killed Bah execution-style and allegedly used the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy to hide the evidence. Their investigation is part of a $70 million lawsuit the family filed against the city in 2013.
The Huffington Post reports:
According to police statements at the time, Bah then threw open the door and lunged at officers with a knife. But according to Cohen, that never happened. Instead, when an officer fired a stun gun to subdue Bah, it missed and hit another officer, causing the hit officer to fall over and knocking down another, Cohen said Tuesday.
One officer then possibly mistook the sensation of being tasered for being stabbed and screamed out, “I’m being stabbed! Shoot him!”
Three officers then fired 10 shots, striking Bah seven times. He took three bullets in his stomach and lower chest and three in his upper left arm and shoulder. The seventh and final shot, which hit Bah in the side of the head, was fired from close range in a downward trajectory, the autopsy showed, even though Bah was over 6 feet tall.
Cohen said one of the officers at the scene straddled Bah while he was alive to “finish the job.” She also said no officers were treated for stab wounds and never reported being stabbed at all. One officer reported a “pinprick” injury to medical personnel and two others were treated for tinnitus.
The Bah family representative added that the knife didn’t exist at the scene of the crime because it was planted there. Police claimed the knife, which was photographed at Bah’s apartment, was allegedly lost when an evidence storage unit was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. Cohen said she and co-counselor Randolph McLaughlin were told in September the knife wasn’t lost, but was actually contaminated.
“They never did any fingerprint or DNA testing or analysis [on the knife], all of which was ordered by crime scene unit investigators,” Cohen said. “No results have ever been produced and there’s been no confirmation if those tests were ever taken.”
Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, and Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham, both of whom were killed by police officers, recently attended a rally in support of Bah’s family.
Cohen and McLaughlin reportedly delivered their findings to the Department of Justice on Wednesday. The NYPD declined to comment on the case due to pending litigation.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform
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