WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (PIX11) — The family of a man fatally shot by police in Upper Manhattan demanded the release of NYPD body camera footage on Friday as they search for closure after the medical examiner determined the man was shot 36 times.
Joel Capellan, 29, was shot and killed by police at the corner of Dyckman Street and Nagle Avenue in Inwood around 3 a.m. Sunday. Police said Capellan was involved in a fight with another man and holding a gun, which he refused to drop. That’s when officers opened fire, killing Capellan. It’s unclear whether Capellan ever pointed the gun at officers.
Capellan’s family, along with community activists, gathered outside the NYPD’s 34th Precinct stationhouse in Washington Heights on Friday. They argue the circumstances of Capellan’s death warrant the release of NYPD body camera footage showing the shooting.
Capellan’s mother, Jenny Rodriguez, said she has heard conflicting stories and wants to see video proof that her son was holding a gun. She said she hopes to find closure before his funeral on Monday.
“That my son held a gun at four officers from this precinct – if he did that, I want to see it. Because if he did something wrong, I would be at peace with that, I wouldn’t be OK but I would be at peace,” Rodriguez said outside of the 34th Precinct on Friday.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to PIX11’s inquiry about the family’s request for body camera footage.
Relatives of Capellan have previously acknowledged that he had a rough past including brushes with the law, but said that he was “getting his life together.”
Body camera footage of shootings by the police are typically released to the public in the days and weeks after the incidents. The New York Attorney General’s Office has already announced an investigation into Capellan’s shooting.