Saturday marked the ninth anniversary of the 2012 police killing of Mohamed Bah. His mother, Hawa Bah, religious leaders and community supporters rallied in front of the apartment building where Mohamed was killed to demand Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Shea to fire NYPD Dt. Edwin Mateo for his role in Mohamed’s death. They also called for the NYPD to be completely removed from mental health responses.
“We need for the CCRB to move quickly to complete its investigation and bring charges against Edwin Mateo,” said Hawa. “And most importantly, Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Shea must fire Mateo for murdering my son. He must be held accountable. As long as Mateo is in the NYPD, he is a threat to public safety.”
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Councilmember Antonio Reynoso and Councilmember Brad Lander are expected to attend. Several organizations including the Justice Committee and the Muslim Community Network will also be in attendance.
“Mayor de Blasio should have fired Edwin Mateo and all of the other NYPD officers involved in murdering Mohamed Bah years ago,” said Justice Committee Director Loyda Colon. “It is outrageous that the Mayor’s failure to hold these officers accountable has allowed eight out of the nine of them to retire without facing any real accountability. Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Shea must delay no further and fire Edwin Mateo.”
Hawa, called 911 on Sept. 25, 2012, for an ambulance for her son, who was in physical and emotional distress. NYPD officers arrived first. Despite her pleading with them not to, Emergency Services Unit officers forced their way into her son’s apartment – against NYPD protocol and without a warrant – with guns drawn and shot him eight times, killing him. Evidence shows that the last shot was fired at close range by then-Officer Edwin Mateo, while Bah lay on the ground.
In February of 2020, Hawa filed a CCRB complaint against all of the officers involved in the murder of her son. She has since learned that all of the officers, except Edwin Mateo, who has since been promoted to Detective, have retired without ever facing any consequences for killing her son. The CCRB is the last possible pathway for the Bah family to ensure some level of accountability.
“My son’s case is a clear example of why we need to completely remove police from any kind of mental health response,” said Hawa. “We need a new system and trained professionals who understand what it’s like to suffer mental illness and can give care to people who need support, like my son needed.”