The NYPD on Thursday released its first-ever body cam footage of a police-involved shooting — and it includes a cop warning the deranged man “you are seconds away from getting shot” just before killing him.
A total of 48 minutes of footage from four officers’ cameras show the tense standoff on Sept. 6 that ended with the death of Miguel Antonio Richards, who threatened cops with a fake gun and real knife.
Officers Mark Fleming and Redmond Murphy from the 47th Precinct were sent to Richards’ home when his landlord told police he was acting erratically, Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said Thursday.
Footage shows the landlord open a door to Richards’s darkened bedroom, revealing the 31-year-old standing still with a knife in his left hand and his right arm behind his back.
Fleming and Murphy repeatedly order the man to “put that knife down,” and ask what he has behind his back, but the stony faced Richards silently glares at them through sunglasses, video shows.
“I don’t want to shoot you. This is not gonna end well for you if you don’t put that down,” Fleming sternly but calmly says before raising his voice and booming, “Put that knife down. You hear me?”
A neighbor can then be heard off-camera repeatedly pleading with Richards to comply — imploring him to think of his family and seek help.
“Drop the knife, man. They don’t want to hurt you,” the neighbor shouts. “I’m begging you brother. There’s someone you’ve gotta love. You can get help, brother.”
But the urgent appeals don’t seem to faze Richards, who continues to glower at the officers from the far corner, so the neighbor places a phone call to one of Richards’s friends, according to police sources.
“Yo Peter, tell this f—–g guy put the knife down — there’s police here right now,” the neighbor can be heard begging. “I got you on speaker — they’re gonna take him out. Talk to him right now, let him hear your voice, ‘cause he not listening.”
Fleming can be seen taking the phone from the neighbor and shouting, “Talk to your dude. Put your knife down,” as he slides the phone on the floor toward Richards.
The device is loud enough to hear someone on the other end say, “Ricardo, put the knife down.”
Richards remains silent, so the neighbor tells the man on the phone to repeat himself.
“Hit him again, man — they not f–king playing,” the neighbor shouts.
The voice on the other line calls out, “Ricardo! Ricardo!” as Fleming quietly radios for a Taser and moments later radios for a sergeant to “fly over here. We got a guy with a knife in his hand, just want him to put it down, and we need him Tased.”
The officers become agitated as Richards, who was standing still, shifts his weight and moves the arm already behind his back.
“You understand you are seconds away from getting shot if you don’t tell us what’s in that other hand. Do you hear me?” Fleming shouts as he and Murphy raise their weapons. “Do you wanna die?”
The standoff continues for several minutes, until Murphy says “he’s got a gun.”
At the same moment, Officer Jesus Ramos arrives with a stun gun, and the two cops tell him Richards may be packing.
“Ricardo, is that a real gun you got there? Ricardo I don’t want to shoot you if you’ve got a fake gun in your hand,” Fleming says with his pistol drawn. “Drop the gun and drop that knife, Ricardo.”
Ramos then steps into the room to fire his Taser.
Video does not clearly show it, but NYPD officials say Richards then aimed the gun at Ramos, painting him with its laser sight.
The footage does, however, show Fleming and Murphy unleash a fusillade on Richards.
Fleming, an 11-year veteran, fired nine times, and 3 ½-year veteran Murphy unloaded seven cartridges, according to Gomez.
“Get outta there! Are you okay?” the officers can be heard shouting to Ramos as he scrambles out of the room and the NYPD-provided video ends.
Richards was pronounced dead at Jacobi Medical Center.
The dead man’s “devastated” father is currently traveling to Jamaica for his funeral, according to uncle Eustace Reid, who did not watch video after it was made public.
The body cameras the cops were wearing were issued two months ago as part of the NYPD’s court-mandated pilot program.
There are currently 670 officers wearing the devices in 10 precincts, and officials expect 1,300 cops to have them by the end of the year.
The implementation was part of a series of reforms that stemmed from a federal judge’s 2013 ruling that the controversial stop-and-frisk tactic was being used unconstitutionally.
Police initially refused to release the footage, arguing it could taint the investigation or unduly influence a jury should charges be brought against the cops, but officials decided to release it because it showed police acted appropriately, police sources said.
“It was in our favor. It shows what the cops have to deal with,” said a high-ranking source. “People don’t realize how quickly things change.”
PBA president Patrick Lynch slammed the decision.
“The release of this footage sets a dangerous precedent that jeopardizes police officers’ due process rights and confidentiality protections under state law,” he said, arguing the release creates a “substantial risk of harassment, reprisals and threats to [officers’] safety and the safety of their families.”