Riots broke out on the streets of Brooklyn as residents in Flatbush are outraged by the killing of 16-year-old Kimani Gray by NYPD last Saturday (Mar. 9). For three nights straight, protesters have gathered, with demonstrators pitching signs, throwing bricks, garbage and bottles by Wednesday night, as police attempted to control the crowds. At least 46 people have been arrested when violence had reached its height.
Gray was shot by plainclothes officers on E. 52nd Street, where police allegedly approached him with a group of men around 11:30 p.m. According to a statement by the police department, Gray broke from the group, adjusted his waistband and “continued to act in a suspicious manner.” Police claim he then “turned on them” and pointed a .38-caliber revolver. One officer fired four rounds, another fired seven. Gray was pronounced dead at ____. Autopsy results show he received three shots in his back.
Carol Gray, Kimani’s mother, spoke out at the protests, demanding that a thorough investigation be done on the tragedy. Residents of the neighborhood have contested the details given by police, including whether or not Kimani was armed, though a gun was recovered from the scene.
“He is not the public’s angel, but he’s my angel, and he’s my baby, and he was slaughtered and I want to know why,” she said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to assure Gray’s family that the facts regarding the shooting will be uncovered, but expressed zero-tolerance for the upheaval in the neighborhood.
“I can promise you that we will conduct a full and fair investigation. I understand there’s anger in the community, but the ways to get answers is not through violence or lawbreaking,” he said. “We cannot tolerate that and we will not tolerate that. There’s nothing we can do to undo the tragedy for the family, but we’ve just got to get guns out of the hands of kids and of the people who should not have them.”
It still has not sunk in for Carol that her son is gone.
“He has a curfew,” she said. “Sometimes he’s late. Sometimes he’s early depending on the night. But whatever time he gets there, I’ll be real happy to see him as soon as the bell rings. And for the past couple of days, the bell hasn’t rung.”