The police shot and killed a mentally ill man accused of slashing his roommate's throat yesterday morning in the East New York section of Brooklyn. This comes six days after the police fatally shot a mentally ill Brooklyn teen.
Michael Angel Torres told police that his roommate David Kostovski slashed him with a knife while he was sleeping. The police found Kostovski a few blocks from his Autumn Avenue apartment and saw him holding a broken wine bottle. They asked him to drop the bottle several times, a confrontation the NY Times notes was "heard on the police radio", but police shot Kostovski when he refused and charged them.
Two police officers fired 12 times. A neighbor who lived downstairs said that landlord rented the apartment to mentally ill people, who were placed there by a social workers, and that Torres and Kostovski were always fighting - and always called the police: "They would fight about everything...There was lots of noise, banging, screaming, cursing. That’s why this morning I didn’t think anything about it.” Still, another neighbor told the Times, "These cops got to stop this. They’re shooting people like crazy. These cops have got to be trained to deal with mentally ill people.” The NYPD told the Sun that fatal police shootings have dropped in the past two decades - there were 41 in 1990, with 9 in 2005, 13 in 2006 and 10 this year so far.
And tomorrow is the funeral for Khiel Coppin, the 18-year-old shot by police last week. While a 911 call suggested he had a gun and he seemed to be concealing something during a police confrontation, Coppin was just holding a hairbrush.