'I Just Want Justice For My Son': Father Of Special Needs Man Shot By Plainclothes Officer Speaks Out
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia police detective is at the center of an internal affairs investigation, after he shot 28-year-old Joel Johnson Monday night in Kensington. Johnson's family says he's a kind man who is loved by the Kensington community. They say he is talking and is in stable condition.
Johnson's biological father says he can't understand how an unarmed man was shot.
"My son is one of the sweetest boys, well grown men that you would ever know," said his father, Joseph Vazquez.
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He spoke with Eyewitness News about what his son told him about the shooting.
"He didn't even know who this police officer was. All he knows is that he felt a burn in his stomach, and then he fell," Vazquez said.
Vazquez went on to tell Eyewitness News his son does not have a job, and was panhandling when the detective shot his son.
In surveillance video, Johnson appears to be walking down G Street, near Tioga Street, moments before he's shot by a plainclothes detective in an unmarked vehicle.
"The male approached the car with his arms extended and apparently he thought that he was being carjacked at that time," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
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Neighbors who know Johnson said that's how the special needs man approaches people.
"Sometimes he go like this, sometimes he put the quarter between his fingers like this ... this don't look like a gun to you, right? Does this look like a gun?" said neighbor Louis Feliciano.
As the officer-involved shooting investigation continues, Johnson's family is hoping some answers come quickly.
"All I want is justice for my son," Vazquez said.
The family says Johnson has mental disabilities. The seven-year veteran of the force who shot him is on desk duty right now, pending the outcome of the investigation.
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