For the second time in less than two months, an NYPD officer fatally shot a man who was carrying a knife — but that was only after repeatedly zapping him with Tasers and shooting him with rubber bullets.
Before we go sounding the excessive-force alarms, it should be noted that the deceased perp slashed at least two of the officers with a 12-inch kitchen knife — it wasn’t until he tried a third time that police shot him with real bullets.
The incident happened about 6:30 p.m. yesterday when the man’s mother — who is visiting him from Guinea for his birthday, which is in a few days — called police to his apartment on Morningside Avenue near West 124th Street in Harlem. The mother told dispatchers that her son, 28-year-old Mohamed Bahh, had grabbed the knife and locked himself inside the apartment.
When police got to the scene, they reportedly put a camera under the
door to get a better look at what was happening inside the apartment.
But Bahh grabbed the camera. Then he walked out of the apartment, waving
the knife at officers.
The cops hit Bahh with a Taser as he
approached them, but it had no impact — and Bahh refused to drop the
knife. So officers shot him with a rubber bullet, which also did
nothing to subdue Bahh.
The officers hit Bahh with the Taser a second time, but again got no results. Bahh still wouldn’t drop the weapon.
wasn’t until Bahh got close enough to the officers to slash two of them
— each on their bullet-proof vests — that they used lethal force.
Neither of the officers were injured. Bahh was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Like another fatal police shooting this year, authorities say Bahh was emotionally disturbed.
Last month, 51-year-old Darrius Kennedy was spotted
smoking weed near 44th Street and Seventh Avenue.
confronted by police, Kennedy got agitated — he pulled out the knife
and dared officers to shoot him as the standoff worked its way down
After getting blasted with six
shots of pepper spray, Kennedy lunged at officers with the knife. Then:
Bang, bang — two officers fired a total of 12 shots at Kennedy, killing
Kennedy had 10 prior arrests, one of which — in October of 2008 —
resulted in him being hospitalized for a mental evaluation after police
took him into custody for
knocking garbage cans over in Times Square. The following month,
Kennedy got popped again, this time for allegedly threatening motorists
and cops with a
screwdriver on Broadway and West 66th Street.
Police are still investigating yesterday’s shooting. Check back for updates.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 26, 2012