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By Mae Slater on
 May 4, 2024

Attorney General Letitia James Unveils NYPD Bodycam Footage After Fatal Queens Shooting

New York authorities have published video footage from a police bodycam following the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Win Rozario in Queens.

ABC 7 New York reported that on March 27, Win Rozario, a 19-year-old resident of Queens, was fatally shot by NYPD officers after they responded to a 911 call at the intersection of 103rd Street and 101st Avenue. Officers at the scene encountered Rozario wielding a pair of scissors.

The incident, which led to Rozario's death, escalated when two NYPD officers discharged their firearms, critically injuring him. Rozario was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The bodycam footage, showing the critical moments of the encounter, was released by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James this Friday, in an effort to bolster transparency within police operations.

Family and Public React to Video Release

Following the release of the video, Rozario's family publicly expressed their grief and disbelief over the circumstances of his death. They criticized the police action as excessive and unwarranted.

In their statement, Rozario's family shared their ongoing trauma, "It's been over a month since we lost Win and our hearts are broken. We feel his absence every day. Reliving this is traumatic and painful."

The family added, "The video that was released makes it clear that Win should be alive but the police came and murdered him in our kitchen without any care for him or us."

Investigation and Police Accountability

The release of the footage has prompted an investigation by the Attorney General's office into the actions of the involved officers. Currently, these officers are on modified assignment, which precludes them from carrying firearms or a shield.

The NYPD, in response to the incident and the subsequent outcry, issued a statement emphasizing their annual handling of over nine million calls, including approximately 155,000 involving mental health crises. They highlighted the rarity of using deadly force.

"Each year... Less than 1 percent of those calls result in police using any form of force; even fewer encounters result in the use of deadly physical force," the NYPD statement detailed.

Continuing Challenges in Police Responses

The tragic incident has highlighted ongoing challenges in how law enforcement responds to emergency calls involving individuals in mental health crises. The NYPD acknowledged the need for improvement in their procedures and training.

"We continually seek to improve how we respond to requests for assistance, and we acknowledge that there is much work to be done. New Yorkers expect and deserve nothing less," the police department stated, indicating a commitment to reform.

This statement comes amidst a broader conversation about the role of police in managing situations involving mental health, with calls for increased training and resources to prevent tragic outcomes.

Community and Legal Outcomes Awaited

The community and Rozario's family are awaiting the outcome of the investigation, hoping for justice and changes to police protocol. The incident has sparked further discussions on police reform and the appropriate use of force, especially in situations involving vulnerable individuals.

Rozario's family demands for accountability extend to seeking the termination and prosecution of the officers involved, stating, "The officers should be fired and prosecuted for murder as soon as possible." The Attorney General's office has not yet announced any formal charges but continues to review all aspects of the case.

In conclusion, the release of the bodycam footage by Attorney General Letitia James marks a step towards transparency but also reignites serious questions about police conduct, especially in handling individuals experiencing mental health issues. The community's reaction, paired with ongoing legal reviews, underscores the complex balance between law enforcement responsibilities and community safety expectations.

Written By:
Mae Slater

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