Family of Brooklyn man killed by police wants clip of incident removed from Zeldin political ad
The family of a Brooklyn man who was shot and killed back in 2018 is calling out Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin for airing an ad that shows the man’s final moments. The family is demanding Zeldin to remove the ad that they say falsely portrays him as an attacker.
Saheed Vassel was killed by NYPD officers back in 2018 after police say he displayed a metal pipe as if it were a gun. His family says Zeldin’s ad, which shows a clip of that footage, has caused them immense pain and suffering.
The video shows Vassel pointing the metal pipe in someone’s face in what appears to be a threatening way. The ad then shows montage of violent crimes with a voiceover that reads "vote like your life depends on it."
His family says the ad is misleading because it misrepresents the circumstances of Vassel’s death. Vassel suffered from mental health illnesses and his father says he was not a violent criminal.
The family says they have asked Zeldin to remove the ad multiple times in the form of a letter and even a cease and desist, but as of today, that ad has yet to be taken down. Vassel’s family says this is not how they want him to be remembered.
Their rally comes just a day ahead of the midterm elections as Zeldin prepares to face off against Gov. Kathy Hochul in what has become a competitive race.
News 12 reached out to Zeldin's campaign, and a spokesperson says the ad has not run in over a month.