Statement on NYPD BWC Footage of Miguel Richards Shooting

Tina Luongo, Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice at The Legal Aid Society, issued the following statement today responding to body worn camera (BWC) footage released by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) of the Miguel Richards shooting which occurred in the Bronx on September 6, 2017.

“This footage raises more questions than it answers. Similar to the killing of Deborah Danner, Mr. Richards seems to exhibit no immediate threat to the officers. Moreover, these officers demonstrate zero knowledge in identifying and handling a situation involving an individual who may be struggling with mental illness.

It’s also troubling that in spite of the fact that about 5,000 officers have received training on interacting with mentally ill people, the NYPD has yet to figure out a way to get the trained officers to the scene or simply do not utilize crisis intervention teams as other cities use.

Mental health professionals must be utilized if we are going to prevent these incidents from happening.”