City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) alongside local officials and anti-gun violence advocates this evening demanded a special investigation into the shooting death of Dwayne Jeune.
Jeune, 32, was fatally shot Monday at his Flatbush Gardens home after his mother Dulcina, 69, called 9-1-1 for assistance with her emotionally disturbed son. According to the New York Police Department (NYPD) four police officers, in uniform, from the 67th Precinct responded to the call at 1320 New York Avenue around 12:20pm.
Upon arrival, the officers were charged by Dwayne, who was wielding a large carving knife. One of the responding police officers discharged their taser which proved ineffective, which then lead to Officer Miguel Gonzalez discharging his weapon. Dwayne was shot five times and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The group’s demands included the creation of a task force to investigate the NYPD’s protocol on Emotionally Disturbed Persons (EDPs) and changes in protocols in responding to EDP calls all within 60 days.
“I believe that the protocols for emotionally disturbed individuals are not sufficient within the NYPD. We have now seen this happen way too many times, each time they [NYPD] say things are going to change. I don’t believe anything has changed. We can not keep on having people who simply need help or assistance, keep on ending up dead,” said Williams.
Williams alongside Senator Kevin Parker (D-Flatbush, Midwood, Kensington) Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-East Flatbush), and Delcina and Vibert Jeune, went on to demand answers to the NYPD’s response protocol to EDPs. The group feels that a gap in appropriate crisis training could have made the difference in saving Dwayne’s life.
The NYPD has a crisis intervention training (CIT) course, which instructs cops on how to handle emotionally disturbed people, that it provides to all of it’s officers. Of the responding officers, Gonzalez was the only one who had yet to complete the course.
“America is a country that worships the gun. There are good officers and there are bad officers. And as long as the bad ones keep on doing wrong things over and over again, they will continue to get off because of technicalities,” said Vibrant.
Last October, Parker introduced Senate Bill 6365, The Crisis Intervention Team Act, legislation that will provide specialized training for officers for the NYPD enabling them to respond to EDP calls in a manner that increases the safety of the emotionally disturbed citizen, the police officer and bystanders, while at the same time providing access to mental health professionals who will arm them with tools to diffuse situations that could potentially lead to a dangerous situation.
According to earlier reports this is the second time that Officer Gonzalez has been involved in an EDP incident with the NYPD. In late 2016, Gonzalez shot Davonte Pressley, 23, a bi-polar Brooklynite who was wielding a knife, who planned to die by “suicide by cop.” Pressley did not die from his wounds and is currently in jail.
According to Williams, 50 percent of police shooting across the country, involve an EDP call.
“We definitely need a top to bottom overhaul of EDP. We need to have confidence and that confidence has been shaken [in the NYPD],” said Williams.