NYPD Releases Video of Dramatic Officer-Involved Shooting Caught on Camera
Belt Parkway Mayhem: Cops chase and then shoot a motorist who refused to drop the pistol
The NYPD has released body camera and dashboard camera video footage of a traffic stop, police chase, and then fatal shooting of a motorist that unfolded during rush hour on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn in November.
Officer Theresa Haley of the NYPD Highway Patrol initially stopped Brian Astarita, 65, for speeding. She asks him for his license and registration more than once when he suddenly drives off, her body camera video shows. Police said that Astarita told the officer that his license was suspended before hitting the gas.
Haley then got back into her patrol car and chased Astarita for about two miles eastbound on the parkway near the Verrazzano Bridge. Astarita’s Jeep Cherokee then rear-ended Haley’s patrol car and finally stopped near Bay Parkway.
By then, another cop — Officer Matthew Mellas — had arrived to back up Haley.
Police said Astarita got out of his car and walked toward the officers pointing what looked like a gun at them. Cellphone video taken by a witness shows Astarita holding a black object, which looks like a pistol.
The officers can be heard on video repeatedly ordering him to drop the gun. Then Haley and Mellas fired 27 shots, killing Astarita.
The weapon Asarita was holding turned out to be an air pistol.
The NYPD’s use of force review board and the state attorney general’s office are investigating the shooting to determine if Haley and Mellas were justified in using deadly force.
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