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NYPD releases body cam video of October shooting in Manhattan

An image taken from a body camera video

An image taken from a body camera video released by the NYPD showing an October police-involved shooting in Manhattan. Credit: NYPD

An NYPD body-camera video released Monday of an October police-involved shooting in Manhattan showed a man who investigators said was armed with two knives charging at police the instant before they fired at him.

The 33-second video was the second one released since the NYPD began a wider rollout of body-worn cameras throughout the department in April. Police brass have decided to show videos on a case-by-case basis in incidents where cops discharge their weapons.

In the latest video, two officers from the 30th Precinct in upper Manhattan are shown arriving at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 at a West 143rd Street apartment building in response to a 911 call about a suicidal man.

The officers, 11-year veteran Alvin Pizarro and newly minted rookie Gino Guerra, are seen in the video taken by a camera Pizarro was wearing, officials said.

The video shows Guerra knocking on the apartment door, which opens after a few seconds. One of the officers says “How are you doing,” then the video shows a man inside at the end of the hallway who officials said was holding two knives.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” Pizarro says to the man, identified as Parris Cummings, before shouting at him to “put the knife down, put the [expletive] knife down!”

The video shows both officers backing away from the doorway and down the hallway, with Cummings exiting the apartment and appearing to run at them. At that point, the video records Pizarro firing once at Cummings, who collapses in the hallway with a gunshot wound to his left leg.

Cummings, who also apparently cut himself while he was in the apartment, was taken to a hospital, where he recovered. He later was indicted on charges of attempted murder and assault of a police officer and pleaded not guilty, court records show.

According to NYPD chief Kevin Maloney of the force investigation division, the department still has the case under review and will decide if the shooting was found to be justified.

Pizarro — the officer who fired the single shot — was one of the first officers in the 30th precinct to wear a body camera, which he received on Oct. 16 — less than a week before the incident, Maloney said. Guerra was not equipped with a camera; the technology only was given to officers in the precinct’s anti-crime and domestic violence units, Maloney said.

The NYPD has yet to formalize a written policy on when it will disclose body camera videos, preferring for the moment to do it on an ad hoc basis.

Another video, which involves the Nov. 13 fatal police shooting of a man who officials said had stabbed two women in Brooklyn, is expected to be released later this week.

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