Man shot dead by police in New York's Times Square

NEW YORK Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:49pm EDT

1 of 5. A police officer stands in Times Square in New York, August 12, 2012. New York City Police shot and killed a knife-wielding suspect as he weaved through Saturday afternoon traffic and pedestrians in New York's Times Square, authorities said. Police said Sunday they approached Darrius Kennedy, 51, while he was smoking what appeared to be marijuana. He became agitated and confronted the officers with a knife, a police spokesman said.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Burton

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City police shot and killed a knife-wielding suspect as he sought to evade them through Saturday afternoon traffic and pedestrians in New York's Times Square, authorities said.

Police said on Sunday they approached Darrius Kennedy, 51, while he was smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette. He became agitated, broke free from an officer's grip and pulled from his pocket a knife with a six-inch (15-cm) blade, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

Kennedy headed south, weaving through dense pedestrian and vehicle traffic, as more police officers arrived at the scene.

"He was repeatedly told throughout this period to drop the knife and we have scores of witnesses who heard the officers doing that repeatedly," Browne told a press briefing.

Kennedy was pepper-sprayed six times but did not respond. After he was again told to drop the knife, two officers fired on him, Browne said.

Twelve shots were fired, and Kennedy was hit seven times -- three times in the chest, twice in the left arm, once in the left calf and once in the groin. The two officers, who were not immediately identified, have been placed on administrative duty.

"Right when he pulled the knife, the cops drew their guns," Lincoln Rocha, 28, who was visiting from Brazil, told the New York Times newspaper. "Some people were crouching near an office building... But others took out the cellphone cameras to try and capture it."

As police officers pursued Kennedy, dozens of onlookers, including Rocha, trailed behind, he told the newspaper.

Kennedy was later pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital Center, Browne said.

The incident may stir additional controversy about the city's so-called stop-and-frisk policies, which have been criticized as targeting racial minorities. Kennedy was black.

This was not the first time Kennedy had clashed with police on New York City streets, according to Browne.

In 2007, Kennedy was arrested near the Lincoln Center performing arts complex for shouting at motorists and walking in and out of traffic. When confronted by police, he brandished a screwdriver. Kennedy was sentenced to 40 days behind bars.

The following year, Kennedy was taken to Bellevue for observation after knocking garbage cans over in Times Square.

(Writing by Edith Honan; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (3)
This was in a heavy populated area. Apparently, they never tried to tase him. Putting innocent people in harms way just because someone was wielding a pocket knife is reckless, excessive and another typical example of the NYPD’s abuse of power.

Aug 12, 2012 12:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Daleville wrote:
And, of course, letting some idiot with a knife with a six inch blade run around in a heavily populated area is not reckless.

This was not a pocket knife or a pen knife. It was a deadly weapon.

The police gave him plenty of time to comply and drop the knife and he didn’t.

The police did what they had to do and no bystanders were injured.

Aug 12, 2012 5:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
victor672 wrote:
Darrius. Says it all.

Aug 12, 2012 8:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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