A fatal, police-involved shooting in the Bronx on Wednesday marked the very first time cops captured someone being shot on official NYPD body cams, authorities said.
Officers from the 47th Precinct, where the incident took place, were issued the cameras two months ago, according to officials.
Investigators were said to have “secured” the tapes for “further review.”
“This incident was captured on body cameras worn by four of the officers,” NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez explained at a press conference.
“Further review of the cameras will be made,” he said.
Cops from the 47 were conducting a wellness check on an emotionally disturbed person when Wednesday’s shooting unfolded, officials said.
“As the landlord opened the apartment door, the officers were confronted by a 31-year-old male occupant,” Gomez said. “The male was brandishing a knife in his left hand and his right hand was concealed behind his back. The officers commenced dialogue, pleading with the man to drop the knife. This is captured on the officer’s body camera.”
After several minutes, backup arrived with Tasers and tried subduing the man — to no avail.
“At this point, the officers noticed what appeared to be a gun in his right hand,” Gomez said, explaining that it was fitted with a laser sight.
“The officers asked the man if it was real and ordered him to drop it, adding, ‘We don’t want to hurt you.’ As the subject raised the gun in the direction of the officers one officer fired the Taser as the two officers fired their service weapons, striking the subject several times.”
The firearm that the man was using appeared to be an imitation pistol, according to sources.
Paramedics rushed the suspect to Jacobi Medical Center, but he didn’t survive.
“There was a dialogue that lasted several minutes,” Gomez said. “You could here the officers pleading. ‘Drop the knife! Drop the knife! What’s in your hand? We don’t want to hurt you.’”
While officials said the body cams being used Wednesday were given to the cops two months ago, the practice was officially deployed back in April — starting in Upper Manhattan before expanding to Brooklyn and the other boroughs.
The cameras were mandated as part of a new, court-appointed pilot program launched by the NYPD. A federal judge ordered the initiative in 2013 following an investigation of the department’s stop-and-frisk tactics.
Cops are ultimately required to turn their body cams on when using force, making arrests or writing summonses, interacting with EDPs or criminally-suspicious people, searching property or people, and while responding to crimes in progress.
The program was rolled out in an effort to enhance transparency.
More than 20,000 cops are expected to be using the devices by 2019.