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Family of mentally-ill man shot by police in Harlem demand answers

Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 18:46:37-05

The father of Michael Cordero says he is still numb with disbelief that police shot his mentally-ill son right outside the family’s front door after they made a 911 call for help Tuesday night.

“He kept saying I didn’t deserve this,” Salvador Cordero, father if Michael Cordero, told a news conference of reporters Thursday.

From surveillance video released by the NYPD, Cordero is seen aiming at police, after police say he announced he had a gun.

It turned out to be a wallet. Cordero sustained a non-life-threatening injury to the hip.

“This family is demanding the NYPD release body-cam video that exists, in addition to the video that was released by police yesterday,” Sanford Rubenstein, the Cordero family lawyer, said at the news conference.

Cordero’s family said police in the 28th precinct knew that the 34-year-old suffered from schizophrenia and was bipolar, and that they told this information to police when they called for help.

There was also an order of protection prohibiting Cordero from visiting his family’s building, after two arrests in December.

But the family said they never requested that. “We never wanted an order of protection. It was imposed on us,” Cordero said. “We wanted Michael evaluated and put in a hospital,” he added.

Police said they were responding to a 911 call for a man with a gun, and not an emotionally disturbed person, and that all proper police protocols were followed.

“[The] NYPD has a pattern of using excessive force on people who are mentally ill,” Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, said at the news conference.

Police have not yet said when they will release body-cam video from the police officers at the scene of the shooting.