The mother of a New York man killed by police demanded justice for her son Saheed Vassell on Thursday (April 5).

Lorna Vassell addressed a crowd of hundreds at the intersection in Brooklyn where Saheed Vassell was shot and killed by NYPD officers the day before.

“Thank you all your support because Saheed was well-loved. Everyone that knows Saheed loved Saheed. Saheed is a very good young man. And just don’t want anyone to portray him as if he was a low life. He is not,” she said.

During the rally, demonstrators held signs reading ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Justice for Saheed Vassell’. Vassell was shot and killed after he pointed a metal pipe at officers that they believed was a gun.

The death of Saheed Vassell on Wednesday was the latest fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by police, fueling more protests and heightening a nationwide debate over the use of excessive force by police and accusations of racial bias in the criminal justice system.

Christine Dodds joined the rally. Dodds said she also lost her son to gun violence.

“What brought me out here is to support the young man because I’m a mother too. And I lost one of my sons, not here, but in Trinidad. And I know the pain that the mother is going through. So I come here to support the young man, to support the family,” she said.