Bangladeshi teen in Queens shot dead by police during mental health crisis

Bangladeshi teen in Queens shot dead by police during mental health crisisBangladeshi teen in Queens shot dead by police during mental health crisis
via New York State Attorney General
Michelle De Pacina
4 days ago
Win Rozario, a 19-year-old Bangladeshi from Queens, was fatally shot by New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers during a mental health crisis despite pleas from his mother. 
Key points:
  • Rozario was shot dead in front of his mother, Notan Eva Costa, and younger brother, Utsho, on March 27 after calling 911 himself to report that he had been experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Critics argue the officers’ use of lethal force was unnecessary and part of a broader pattern.
  • The teen’s death has reignited calls for change, with organizations advocating for changes in the mental health response system to prioritize care over policing.
What happened:
  • Officers Matthew Cianfrocco and Salvatore Alongi arrived at the scene. Rozario reportedly appeared distressed and grabbed a pair of kitchen scissors, which his mother tried to take away. The officers then deployed a taser when Rozario approached them, resulting in his mother embracing and consoling him.
  • Rozario reportedly moved toward the officers with the scissors multiple times, while his mother and brother tried to intervene. In his last move, one officer began to open fire.
  • The teen collapsed after being struck multiple times. Toward the end of the body-camera footage, his mother can be heard telling the officers, “Please, don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.”
  • “Before they came, everything was calm. Then they came and created chaos and murdered him in front of me,” Costa said at a news conference last week. “I tried to protect my son. I begged the police not to shoot, but the police still killed him.”
  • Rozario’s family demanded the immediate firing and prosecution of the officers involved. They said the video “makes it clear that Win should be alive” but the police “created a crisis and killed him in cold blood.”
Ongoing investigation:
  • The state attorney general’s office has initiated an investigation into the incident. Meanwhile, the officers involved have been put on “modified assignment,” which entails their continued employment but without carrying firearms or shields.
  • NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell has defended the officers’ actions. The department affirmed its full cooperation with the investigation while conducting its own probe. 
  • The department also emphasized a commitment to enhancing their response to requests for assistance. “We continually seek to improve how we respond to requests for assistance, and we acknowledge that there is much work to be done. New Yorkers expect and deserve nothing less,” it said.
Calls for change: 
  • Mayor Eric Adams expressed sorrow over the incident and stressed the unimaginable pain of a parent witnessing their child’s final moments. His administration plans to implement new protocols to expedite the adjudication of misconduct reports and civilian complaints within the police force.
  • Nonprofit organizations and local advocacy groups are demanding the dismissal and prosecution of the officers involved. There are also calls advocating for a shift in New York City‘s crisis response approach, favoring trained mental health responders over armed police for certain 911 calls.
  • “When our families, friends, neighbors are experiencing a mental health crisis, they deserve a response from mental health professionals, not being killed by the NYPD. It’s time for a change,” Donna Lieberman, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told CBS News.
  • Fountain House, a nonprofit supporting those with serious mental illness in New York, urges the city to expand mental health intervention programs, emphasizing that mental illness is a public health issue, not a public safety concern. 
  • The Rozario family now hopes to help prevent similar incidents from happening to other families. Rozario’s mother said she hopes no other mother has to experience the agony she is going through.
 
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