Mrs. Bah Calls for Officers Who Killed Her Son to Be Fired, Defunding of the NYPD and Removal of NYPD from Mental Health Response
In response to news that NYPD Lt. Michael Licitra and Sgt. Edwin Mateo filed a lawsuit to block the CCRB investigation into the NYPD killing of Mohamed Bah, Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, released the following statement:
I am horrified and outraged that Lt. Michael Licitra and Officer Edwin Mateo are trying to get my CCRB complaint thrown out so they don’t have to face any consequences for murdering my son, Mohamed Bah. I blame the Mayor and the NYPD for this. It’s their fault these officers are still on our streets and on the NYPD payroll, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars every year. It is unacceptable that the City keeps paying the salaries of violent officers like Mateo and Licitra, when we need those resources for healthcare, jobs, housing and other support for our communities.
Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have been trying to trick New Yorkers into thinking that their recently released disciplinary matrix matters, but this is not the truth. This lawsuit is a perfect example of why it’s not enough. Licitra and Mateo should have been fired years ago but the NYPD refused to discipline them. In 2018, a court found that Mateo used excessive force and Licitra failed to supervise. The CCRB is now investigating and the officers are trying to use the failure of de Blasio and the NYPD to act as justification for why they shouldn’t face discipline.
I had to file a CCRB complaint because this is the only way to get them fired and off our streets where they can kill more Black and brown New Yorkers. Lictira, Mateo and the other officers involved in my son’s murder should be fired immediately. The NYPD murder of my son and the lack of accountability for the officers who killed him is a clear example of why the NYPD should be defunded and completely removed from responding to people in emotional distress.
On Sept. 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 the officers involved accountable, but in 2018, the jury for the civil trial found Mateo liable for excessive force and 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.