Video shows NYPD officers fatally shooting knife-wielding man
The officers are heard telling the suspect 22 times to drop the knife he was brandishing before shooting him
By Rocco Parascandola
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — A knife-wielding Bronx man who was fatally shot by cops last month spent his final frantic seconds advancing on two NYPD officers, according to body-cam video the department showed to reporters Thursday.
The footage was recorded during a Jan. 29 nighttime encounter at Prospect Ave. and E. 181st St. in Belmont.
The street was too dark to allow for a clear view of the suspect, Michael Hansford, 52, as he chased his landlord around a parked car, at which point police show up.
But officers from the 48th Precinct are heard telling Hansford 22 times to drop the “Rambo-style knife” he was brandishing, said Insp. Kevin Maloney, who heads the NYPD’s Force Investigation Division.
Although the audio is hard to make out, the video shows that the suspect — who earlier had tried to stab his landlord with a smaller knife in an argument over unpaid rent — told cops to shoot him eight times during the encounter, police said.
Police stopped short of characterizing the incident as suicide by cop.
“The guy is saying, ‘Shoot me! Shoot me!’” said Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis, the NYPD’s top spokesman. “(But) I can’t get into the guy’s mind.”
As city policy demands, the Bronx District Attorney’ office is investigating the shooting, as is the NYPD.
But Police Commissioner James O’Neill two days after the shooting said he had viewed the video and believes the cops acted appropriately.
One officer, who joined the NYPD 3 1/2 years ago, fired four times. His partner, a two-year veteran, fired twice.
The NYPD has now released footage from all four police shootings that have been captured on bodycameras since September.
O’Neill has promised to release all such videos — regardless of whether it makes police look good or bad.
By year’s end about 17,000 cops, most of the patrol force, are expected to be equipped with cameras.
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