Daily Mirror

September 14, 2017


'This won't end well for you': NYPD body-cam footage shows tense standoff before officers fatally shoot suspect who had fake gun

BY RHIAN LUBIN

This horrifying body-cam footage shows the tense stand off before police officers fatally shot a man with a pretend gun.

The full footage shows officers opening fire and killing 31-year-old Miguel Richards, who they said was armed with a knife and a fake gun in the Bronx, New York, on September 6.

An investigation into what happened is now open after Richards was shot dead by two officers and Tasered by a third.

The New York Police Department have now released the footage themselves - our edited the clip shows the moments running up to the killing.

Police found Richards holding a knife in his left hand with his right hand hidden behind his back, clasping what later turned out to be a silver fake gun, the NYPD said in a statement.

The officers point the gun at Miguel Richards, who was standing in darkness in a room 
Police aim their weapons 
In the clip, police opened fire after pleading with Richards to disarm himself during a 12-minute stand-off.

Officers went to the apartment of Richards, who died at the scene, after his landlord told officers he had not seen the man for some time.

Footage shows the landlord open a door to Richards’s darkened bedroom, where they found him standing still with a knife in his left hand and his right arm behind his back.

The officers repeatedly order the man to “put that knife down,” and ask what he has behind his back.

But Richards just silently looks at them through sunglasses.

Richards was wearing sunglasses and had a fake firearm 

Cop's gun is visible in footage 

One warns: "I don’t want to shoot you. This is not gonna end well for you if you don’t put that down.

"Put that knife down. You hear me?"

A neighbour is then heard off-camera pleading with Richards to comply with police, telling him to think of his family and to seek help.

He shouts: "Drop the knife, man. They don’t want to hurt you.

"I’m begging you brother. There’s someone you’ve gotta love. You can get help, brother.”

An officer is also heard saying: "I don't want to shoot you if you have a fake gun in your hand, you hear me? But I will shoot you if that's a real gun," one of the officers tells Richards.

Slow-motion footage released by the NYPD appeared to show movement of Richards' right arm just before the officers fired.

Two officers shot at him and a third Tasered him 

Molly Kovel, a senior staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, said it was not clear to her Richards had raised his right hand toward the officers before they opened fire, as the NYPD said in a statement.

"Regardless, the video reveals that officers need better training in how to reduce tensions when dealing with emotionally disturbed people", she said.

"This video is a really good example of why the public deserves to see body camera videos, because it's an important window into these encounters and the public needs to decide if training is adequate," Kovel said.

Patrick Lynch, president of the police union the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of New York, in a statement said releasing the video "sets a dangerous precedent that jeopardises police officers' due process rights and confidentiality protections under state law."

Police departments around the country have embraced body-cams as a way of protecting officers from unjust accusations, while civil liberty advocates have championed the technology as a way to assure the rights of suspects are protected.

A New York police officer
The NYPD has released the footage to show what officers have to deal with, they said (file image) 

The NYPD, the largest city police department in the United States, has been slower than some other law enforcement agencies to adopt body cameras and only a fraction of its officers have them.

Yesterday NYPD released a statement saying: "Today, the New York City Police Department, released body camera footage captured by four police officers involved in a police involved shooting on September 6, 2017.

"The officers initially responded to a wellness check at 3700 Pratt Avenue at 5:27 PM. During that wellness check, the officers encountered Miguel Richards, a 31 year old male, who was armed with a knife and concealing an object, later determined to be an imitation firearm behind his back.

"After repeated commands, over a twelve-minute period, to drop the weapons, one officer deployed a taser and two others discharged their firearms, causing his death."