04/03/2024, 11.07
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New York: 19-year-old Bangladeshi Catholic killed by police

by Sumon Corraya

Win Rozario had called 911 to seek medical aid during an episode of mental breakdown. According to the family, the officers fired six gunshots at the boy. The father had emigrated from Gazipur district 10 years ago: 'I demand justice'. Dismay and protest from the local community.

Dhaka - New York (AsiaNews) - Bangladeshi migrants living in the United States have expressed concern and shock over the tragic killing of Win Rozario, a young Catholic, at the hands of the police. Two days ago, the local community protested, expressing their dismay at what happened.

Gabriel Tapas Gome, former president of the Expatriate Bengali Christian Association, told the media: “We came to the United States seeking a safe life, but Win Rozario's death has left us deeply saddened.”

According to relatives and members of the diaspora, Win Rozario, a 19-year-old Catholic, had called 911 on March 27 to receive medical assistance during an episode of mental crisis. Within minutes, New York police arrived at the residence in Ozone Park, Queens, attempting to take the boy into custody.

Rozario resisted, according to sources, by becoming agitated and brandishing scissors, and the police responded by firing six shots at the young man. Win Rozario, was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting, which occurred around 1:45 p.m

Francis Rozario, the victim's father, who emigrated from Gazipur, Bangladesh, ten years ago, said in tears: "My son was mentally ill. The police killed him illegally. I ask for justice for his death." According to his father, Win dreamed of joining the US Army but his plans were hampered by delays in obtaining a green card for citizenship, which was approved only last year.

Nazmul Huda, consul general of Bangladesh in New York, visited the Rozario family to offer condolences and assure that an investigation has been launched. He promised that all appropriate action will be taken if the investigation reveals any wrongdoing by the police. The entire episode was captured on officers' body-worn cameras, the local police chief said, but the footage has not been released.

The New York Police Department has confiscated the weapons of the officers involved, pending the outcome of the investigation. According to Police Chief John Chell, Rozario's mother intervened during the crisis, dropping the Tasers that officers had used against the 19-year-old to calm him.

Rozario is the third person to be fatally shot by the New York police in the last two months and his district, the 102nd, is not yet covered by the pilot program implemented by the local government, under which health workers with expertise in mental health intervene alongside the agents to respond to some requests for assistance.

Meanwhile, Nirmol Rozario, president of the Dhaka-based Bangladesh Christian Association, expressed deep sorrow over the tragedy and called for justice for Win Rozario.

Over 2,000 Christians from Bangladesh live in the United States, and most do not have American citizenship.

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