Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Video of NYPD Shooting of Unarmed White Man - 5 Officers and Hero Clerk

Link to Video at LEO site

 On 4 June, 2020, two female police officers, officer Suarez and her partner, officer Brown enter a deli in Manhattan. Just behind them comes 55 year old Peyman Bahadoran, walking his dog and holding a drink bottle in his right hand. Officer Suarez holds the door to allow the dog, on leash, in the store. 

Peyman gets into a verbal dispute with officer Brown. Peyman draws a large knife which was in a sheath on his right leg, and starts waving it around.

At this point, either officer was legally justified in shooting Peyman, but neither does. Suarez draws her radio and exits the store, calling backup. Brown ineffectively fires a Taser at Peyman, missing, as she flees behind the counter. 

Peyman starts interacting with the deli clerk, who is the hero in this story. Peyman waves his knife. The clerk picks up his own knife, and waves it back. Peyman demands cigarettes, eerily similar to George Floyd.

The clerk, in a brilliant move, extends the pack of cigarettes toward Peyman. Peyman instinctively puts the knife down on the counter, preparatory to taking the cigarettes. The clerk snags the knife with his left hand, while withdrawing the cigarettes with his right.

Peyman is left unarmed.

The clerk gives the knife to officer Brown.

Peyman starts holding his arms up for all to see he is unarmed. Suarez re-enters the doorway. She appears to be able to clearly see Peyman no longer has a knife in his right hand, and a water bottle in his left hand.


15 seconds after being disarmed by the store clerk, Peyman storms out of the store, slipping alongside officer Suarez. Officer Suarez has her gun, but does not shoot, even as Peyman angrily pushes her back out of the deli. 

Suarez continues pointing her pistol at Peyman as the angry confrontation continues. Peyman has opportunities to snatch the pistol, but does not attempt to do so. 

Then backup arrives.

Peyman is confronting Suarez, and touches the sheath on his leg, but his right hand remains empty. 

Peyman turns toward the backup, and attempts to shove supervisor Machado. Slight contact was made as Machado backs up. Machado had his pistol pointed at Peyman, but points it downward, presumably as he sees Payman's outstretched, empty right hand. In doing so, he  removes his pistol from Peyman's reach.

Peyman turns toward supervisor Machado again. 

Officer Rozanski has drawn his gun, out in the street, and is ready to shoot, as is officer Suarez. Two shots are fired, close together. It is 8 seconds after Peyman and Suarez exited the deli.

It is not clear who shot first. Officer Murphy has drawn a weapon, but has not pointed it at Peyman.  Supervisor Machado had drawn a weapon, but it is not pointed at Peyman, either. Officer Brown has remained in the Deli. 

Officer Rozanski, Peyman, and officer Suarez are all on one geometrical line of fire. 

Here are the positions of the players, a fractional second before the shots were fired.


Officer Suarez (on right) and Officer Rozanski (Top left) are said to have shot Bahadoran with one shot each.  Supervisor Machado, (center left) and officer Murphy (center further left) had drawn weapons.

Here is the view from officer Suarez' body camera, a fraction of a second after the shots are fired.


15 seconds after being disarmed, out the door. 8 seconds after being out the door, Peyman is shot. 

As an aside, I doubt Suarez was taught the thumb across thumb two handed hold. It is a good way to have your left thumb sliced by the pistol slide. 

Was this a justified shoot, or as some police say, a "good" shoot? 

A retired police officer (a firearms and tactics trainer for most of his career) and I both reviewed the video.

The police have a difficult job.  It is easy to second guess them in difficult situations. However...

Both the retired officer and I came to the same conclusions. We both would probably have shot Peyman, and have been justified, but... not at the time he was shot. 

When he was shot, it was no longer a justified shooting.

When Peyman drew the knife and waved it about, and leisurely followed officer Brown, it would have been a justified shoot by either officer, or even the hero clerk or the bystander near the door.

After the hero sandwich maker and deli clerk disarmed Peyman, the shooting became less justified.

Officer Suarez may have been justified in shooting Peyman as he approached her, if she claimed he intended to disarm her; but he did not and she did not. 

Peyman's aggressive pushing at supervisor Machado, was not sufficient, especially now that five officers were present and Peyman did not have any weapons in his hands. 

In addition, the rigorous policies of the NYPD seem to disqualify it. Officers are not allowed to discharge a firearm when it will unnecessarily endanger innocents. From nyc.gov:

Discharge a firearm when, in the professional judgment of a reasonable member of the service, doing so will unnecessarily endanger innocent persons

Both officers who fired were directly in each other's line of fire.

Peyman is now suing the NYPD and NYC for an unjustified shoot. 


Use of force situations change rapidly. Police officers are trained to understand that reality. I was trained about it 40 years ago!

Peyman had/has mental problems. He says he is bipolar.  I suspect he will collect quite a bit of money. 

The retired officer/firearms trainer said the police should not have had their pistols out, once Peyman no longer had the knife.   He said, if he had shot people at the level of aggression Peyman showed outside the deli, he would have shot hundreds of people during his career (he did not shoot any).

Having drawn pistols in the situation restricted the officers' options. They were probably acting on the information officer Suarez had given earlier, about Peyman having a large knife.  

There are probably over 50 million police-public interactions in a year. By the odds, a few of them are bound to go badly.

The five officers had numerous non-lethal options to take an unarmed man into custody. Everything simply lined up wrong for Peyman, and he was shot. Most of it was his own fault.

Heather McDonald has shown more unarmed white men are shot by police than unarmed black men. Peyman is one of those.

©2020 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

...did they shoot the dog?

Anonymous said...

Who cares if this dirtbag was shot, he got what he wanted