NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The family of an emotionally disturbed immigrant killed by police has sued New York City, seeking changes to how police handle such encounters.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Manhattan federal court. It seeks unspecified damages for the September 2012 killing of a 28-year-old Guinean immigrant shot in his Morningside Heights home.
Family members say Mohamed Bah never should have died. The lawsuit said Bah’s mother dialed 911 on the day of her son’s death, hoping to summon an ambulance because she thought he was depressed. The lawsuit said officers arrived instead and Bah asked them to leave.
“I called 911 because I was thinking about medical help,” Hawa Bah told reporters including WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “I didn’t call police because he didn’t do nothing wrong.”
Bah’s mother also said officers denied her request to speak with her son in the hopes of calming him down.
Police say Bah lunged at the officers with a 13-inch knife and he was shot after a stun gun and rubber bullet failed to stop him.
“Broke the door down, tasered, bean bagged and killed him,” the family’s lawyer Randolph McLaughlin said at a Monday afternoon news conference.
The family wants the federal courts to force a policy change on the NYPD for the way it deals with disturbed people.
“It’s called a crisis intervention model: mental health professionals train the police and accompany them on these calls,” said McLaughlin.
The family lawyer added a grand jury will consider criminal charges against the officers involved in the fatal incident next month.
The NYPD has not made the names of the officers public.
The city law office did not immediately comment.
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