Police Killing of Dwayne Jeune is Ninth EDP death under de Blasio

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Dwayne Jeune. Photo-Facebook

Our condolences are with the family and friends of Dwayne Jeune. Families shouldn’t have to doubt whether they should seek help when a family member is experiencing emotional distress for fear of police killing their loved one.

Yet time after time, families are victimized in this way after seeking help and the justifications for these killings have become routine by this city and entirely dehumanizing. This is now at least the third person in emotional distress killed by the NYPD within less than a year, and at least the ninth during the de Blasio administration.

It is also troubling that the officer who killed Jeune, Miguel Gonzalez, is the same officer who shot Davonte Pressley three times less than a year ago, in an incident that community members questioned as excessive in responding to someone in emotional distress. If the de Blasio administration has made mental health issues a priority, it is perplexing why the NYPD continues to be the first responder to these calls and recurring fatal responses by the NYPD to those in emotional distress is not being addressed with the seriousness required to prevent these killings.

While the NYPD seeks to justify its actions, there are serious questions about NYPD’s systemic failures leading to the loss of another life that appears to have been preventable and whether officers actually followed protocol or best practice. There were serious issues raised by the January inspector general report and it seems that the NYPD has still failed to address a number of them. While it's unclear whether officers followed patrol guide protocol, the IG report identified that the patrol guide provisions are inconsistent with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training that some officers have gone through.

The report also highlighted that the NYPD has no post-training assessment to gauge whether officers retained the CIT training, no manual or reference guide for officers undergoing CIT training, and no comprehensive system to deploy officers who are CIT-trained to EDP calls. Were the officers who responded to Dwayne Jeune’s mother’s call for help CIT trained? If yes, why didn’t they appear to follow that training and if no, why were these officers called to the scene instead of officers who were CIT trained?

Further, the continued leaking of alleged arrest history of victims of police brutality and those killed in police-involved incidents by ‘unnamed’ NYPD sources is alarming. The only purpose seems to be to discredit and dehumanize victims, particularly when the NYPD refuses to disclose the names of involved officers, or their prior substantiated complaint histories.

Why was Dwayne Jeune's alleged prior arrest history disclosed to news sources? Will the de Blasio administration and NYPD investigate and discipline officers who are leaking this information? Will the de Blasio administration release the names of all officers involved in the killing of Dwayne Jeune

Carolyn Martinez-Class, Spokesperson
Communities United for Police Reform

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