Surrounded by elected officials and community leaders, Duane Jeune’s parents walked into their apartment building courtyard Tuesday evening, still reeling a day after their son’s death in a police involved shooting.
“My son is not a bad person," said Mr. Jeune. "He had his problems."
The community is raising several critical questions regarding Jeune’s shooting by one of four NYPD officers who responded to his family’s apartment after his mother complained he was unarmed - but behaving erratically.
Jeune's family wants to know if the NYPD failed to follow proper protocol or was one of the officers simply left with no choice but to shoot and kill an emotionally disturbed Jeune. Officers say he lunged at them with a knife and kept coming after a Taser failed to stop him.
“He then straddles over him, with the knife in his hand. At that point, Officer Gonzalez fires five rounds at Mr. Jeune, causing his demise,” said NYPD Chief of Patrol Terrance Monahan.
Mr. Jeune said he simply wants to know why a call for help for his son ended with his son's death.
“When you call upon those who you believe will help you - and all they do is to kill,” said Mr. Jeune.
Section 216-05 of the NYPD Patrol guide - six pages - goes into a detail about encounters with an emotionally disturbed person.
“The primary duty of all members of the service is to preserve human life. The safety of ALL persons involved is paramount in cases involving emotionally disturbed persons.”
“Deadly physical force will be used ONLY as a last resort to protect the life of the uniformed member of the service assigned or any other person present.”
The officers were not wearing body cameras.
“We can no longer afford to just take things on face value,” said Minister Kirsten John Foy of the National Action Network.
Right now, Ms. Jeune, who apparently witnessed her son’s death, isn’t talking.
Her account is the only account that we know of that can either corroborate or contradict what the police department is saying. When asked if he could provide a sense of whether or not the NYPD’s account is in line with what Ms. Jeune saw inside that apartment, Councilman Jumaane Williams responded, “the best thing for this, is for body cams to be rolled out, so we can all be looking at the same thing.”