Mrs. Hawa Bah Calls for NYC Mayor and NYPD fire Det. Edwin Mateo for Murdering Her Son
Contact: Danny Kim, email@example.com, 201-870-1661
New York, NY: Yesterday, New York State Supreme Court Judge Laurence L. Love dismissed in full the Article 78 petition filed by NYPD Detective Edwin Mateo, which attempted to block the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) from further investigating him for his role in the 2012 murder of Mohamed Bah. In February of 2020, Mohamed’s mother, Hawa Bah, submitted a complaint to the CCRB against all of the NYPD officers responsible for her son’s murder. For years, Mrs. Bah has been calling for Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Shea to fire all of the officers who killed Mohamed Bah.
In response to Judge Love’s ruling, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah:
I am thankful that Judge Love dismissed Detective Mateo’s cowardly and baseless Article 78 petition and now, the CCRB can move forward with its investigation and substantiate charges against Mateo for murdering my son, Mohamed Bah. In the end, the only acceptable outcome is for a disciplinary trial to be scheduled and for Mateo to be fired from the NYPD.
As the court recognized yesterday, Mateo never should have brought this lawsuit in the first place. It’s outrageous that he forced me back into court for what was nothing more than a last ditch attempt to avoid facing any accountability for murdering my son. Ultimately, I blame Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD for this delay in what has already been a very long and painful process of seeking answers and justice for Mohamed. Dt. Mateo and all of the other officers involved in murdering my son should have been fired years ago but the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio refused to discipline them, allowing all but one to resign.
In 2012, then-Officer Mateo, along with Officers Andrew Kress, Michael Green, and Joseph McCormack didn’t let me talk to my son and instead busted into Mohamed’s apartment and shot him eight times. Mateo fired the final shot that killed my son at close range, execution-style, while Mohamed lay on the ground. In 2018, the jury for Mohamed’s civil suit found Mateo liable for using excessive force against my son. The evidence of NYPD wrong-doing has been clear from the beginning but instead of getting these officers off the streets where they can hurt other Black and Latinx children, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have forced taxpayers to pay their salaries for years.
Now that Dt. Mateo’s lawsuit has been dismissed, the CCRB must move quickly to complete its investigation and bring charges against him. Most importantly, Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Shea must fire him for murdering my son. It is a threat to public safety that he is still an NYPD officer.
Background: On September 25, 2012, Mohamed Bah, a Muslim immigrant from Guinea, was killed by the NYPD after his mother, Hawa Bah, called 911 for an ambulance and NYPD officers arrived first. Despite Mrs. Bah 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 Officer Edwin Mateo fired the last shot at close range, while Bah lay on the ground. Both the state and federal criminal justice systems failed to hold the officers involved accountable but in 2018, the jury for the civil trial found Dt. Edwin Mateo liable for excessive force and Lt. Michael Licitra liable for failure to supervise. The de Blasio administration appealed the decision, but – thanks to Mrs. Bah’s leadership and citywide organizing – was forced to the table to settle the case.
In February of 2020, Hawa Bah 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 Dt. Edwin Mateo 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.