NYPD Hopes to Use Video To Combat ‘Implicit Bias’ Against Officers

The first photo to emerge of last week’s shooting by an NYPD officer of a man accused of serial “hammer attacks” echoed recent photos and videos from police-involved shootings across the country: A black man lay prone on the ground, as a uniformed — and white — officer stood over him, gun aimed at the prostrate man.

So the reports that came in from eyewitnesses were, perhaps, not surprising.

A man standing at a nearby Dunkin Donuts reportedly told the New York Times he had watched the NYPD officer shoot a man who was running away.

A woman riding by on a bicycle then apparently called the Times newsroom to report that she had just witnessed police shoot a man who was in handcuffs.

“I am sorry,” she reportedly told the Times. “Maybe I am crazy, but that is what I saw.”

But it wasn’t.

The NYPD quickly released surveillance video that showed that neither of the eyewitness reports were accurate. The video makes clear that the man, David Baril, had attacked another officer with the claw side of a hammer, before being shot multiple times by the officer’s partner.