NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Harrowing body cam footage obtained by CBS2 shows NYPD officers disarming a man with a gun on Staten Island.
It happened last Sunday at around 1:10 p.m. on Warren Street on Staten Island.
Police received a 911 call of a man with a gun firing shots at a woman’s apartment. One round smashed through her living room window and a bullet was found in her kitchen.
The body cam footage begins with a group of officers with their weapons drawn confronting Marcus Washington, who is seated on the ground outside.
“Put your hands up now!” officers demanded.
Washington can be seen moving his right arm, and officers repeatedly tell him to stop and “drop it.” A woman screams “No!”
“Drop the gun!” an officer yells. “Put your hands in the air!”
When Washington raises his hands, one of the officers kicks away a pistol from next to where he was sitting and removes the magazine.
“Loaded,” he says.
As other officers handcuff Washington, one asks if the officer is O.K.
“I was a second away,” the officer says.
Washington faces reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, possession of stolen property and criminal mischief charges.
NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison told CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer what the video shows, and what the public may not be aware of, is that cops deal with situations like this all the time.
“This is something that we’re faced with a lot more than we’re given credit for,” he said.
He said this case was vastly different from the one earlier this month in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where officers shot and killed a mentally ill man. That man, Saheed Vassell, was holding part of a welding torch as if it were a weapon.
Vassell’s family has raised questions about whether police acted properly.
Harrison says they did, because Vassell – as surveillance video released by the NYPD shows – was making threating motions at people, as if aiming a gun at them.
“He never dropped it, got in the stance, pointed it at the cops. The cops had to discharge their firearms,” he said. “They thought their lives were in danger.”
The number of times cops have discharged their weapons in adversarial situations has dropped from 40 in 2013 to 23 last year, Kramer reported.
Harrison said he’s walked in the shoes of those cops in Staten Island, once having to disarm a man who shot his partner.
“It’s something that I’ll never forget, because everything is going so fast and you have to make a decision in a split second,” he said.
The NYPD hopes to have the entire patrol force outfitted with body cams by the end of the year.