Dramatic bodycam video released by Rochester police shows cops shooting and killing a knife-wielding man outside a homeless shelter early Wednesday.
The footage, released hours after the shooting, shows the man outside the Open Door Mission on West Main Street shortly before 3 a.m. holding a knife and walking toward an officer, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
“I’m going to kill you for Jesus,” the man says.
“Drop the knife and stop walking towards us,” one cop is heard saying. “Okay, I need you not to kill me for Jesus and drop the knife now.”
The officer continues to back up for 400 feet with the man, who was black, seen following him.
“Drop the knife,” the officer tells the man repeatedly as he retreats. “Boss, we need you to drop that knife right now.”
“Detail 0-9,” he radios in to headquarters at one point. “Individual has stated he does wish to kill us and he’s dangerous … All right, we’re backing out onto Main Street.”
“C’mon, man, we don’t need to go down this road,” the cop says to the man as he moves closer. “Boss, you need to stop. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Back up right now.”
Several shots are then heard and the man falls to the ground.
“Goddamn it,” the officer with the bodycam is heard saying. “Detail 0-9. Shots fired.”
Police said the man, who has not been identified, was shot at least once in the upper body. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The shooting is the latest controversy to hit the Rochester department, including last year’s police-custody death of Daniel Prude — a mentally disturbed man who died after cops put a spit mask over his head and held him down on the ground
Footage of the March 23, 2020, incident sparked protests in the upstate city.
Last month, cops took heat after bodycam footage showed an officer pepper-spraying an unruly 9-year-old girl who was handcuffed in the back of a police car.
And last week, a Rochester cop was placed on administrative leave after video footage caught him pepper-spraying a woman suspected of shoplifting in front of her toddler.
In the latest incident, cops responded after an employee at the Open Door shelter called police to report the man had stolen several knives.
The shooting drew criticism from Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who told the Democrat & Chronicle that “policing in Rochester is rotten to its core.”
“The city of Rochester needs to overhaul its procedures for responding to mental health emergencies before another life is lost to a failed system,” Lieberman said.