Mohamed Bah, 28, was an immigrant from Guinea working as a cab driver as he attended the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
On September 25, 2012, he was shot and killed inside his Manhattan apartment by NYPD officers after his mother, Hawa Bah called police from outside his apartment worried that he was depressed and acting erratically.
Contrary to NYPD guidelines, the officers would not let his mother enter his apartment to speak to him in an attempt to calm him down, instead she was ordered out of the building.
After his mother was kicked out of the building, a tactical team arrived to break down his door to insert a camera to monitor what Bah was doing.
The police claim that Bah then ripped open the door and lunged at the officers with a knife.
Debra Cohen, a lawyer for the Bah family, maintains that this never happened. She maintains that an officer who meant to tase Bah missed and hit another officer leading to a domino effect of mistakes.
Possibly mistaking the feeling of being tased with being stabbed, the officer yelled out, “I’m being stabbed! Shoot him!”
Three officers then unloaded 10 bullets at Bah, seven of which struck him.
The final and fatal shot hit Bah in the side of his head, yet oddly it was fired from close range in a downward trajectory. Seeing as Bah was over six feet tall, the family and their believe that this was an execution shot to finish him off.
“The only logical explanation is that a police officer straddled Mr. Bah while he was still alive and breathing on the ground, bent over and shot him in the head to finish the job — while he was a threat to no one, while he had committed no crime.” Cohen said in a statement regarding her conclusion based on the autopsy and officer’s testimonies.
Next came the cover up, Cohen asserts.
After the incident, the police told the media that the officer was being treated for stab wounds, however, no officer was treated for a stabbing. One officer was treated for a small pin-point prick, possibly from the taser or from his fall, but there was not an officer treated for stab wounds.
Cohen also maintains that a knife was taken from his kitchen and planted at the crime scene, as it was not visible in any videos of the aftermath. The department later claimed that the knife was lost during Hurricane Sandy, but changed their story in September to say that it was not lost, but contaminated during the storm.
“They never did any fingerprint or DNA testing or analysis [on the knife], all of which was ordered by crime scene unit investigators,” Cohen said. “No results have ever been produced and there’s been no confirmation if those tests were ever taken.”
On Tuesday, his mother held a rally which was attended by other women who have lost their children to police violence, including the mothers of Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham.
“My son was Mohamed Bah. He never committed a crime in his life,” Hawa Bah told supporters at the rally. “He was sick. I tried to have an ambulance but the police responded, and I said, ‘I didn’t call the police.’”
Cohen delivered their findings to the Department of Justice on Wednesday.