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Fixing Your Belt While Black

by Abby Zimet

This weekend two New York City police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray after he came back from a baby shower in Brooklyn. They fired 11 shots at him. Police say Gray "adjusted his waistband (in) a suspicious manner,” pointed a gun at them that was later shown to have four rounds - none was fired - and had been arrested before for larceny and "inciting a riot." Witnesses say Gray was fixing his belt because he was skinny, that he had never owned a gun, that even if he had he wouldn't have pointed it at six police officers because "he had common sense," that he may or may not have been holding a gun for a friend, that he was "running for his life," and that after he was shot Gray said, "Please don't let me die," to which one officer  responded, "Stay down or we'll shoot you again." Gray was pronounced dead a short time later at Kings County Hospital Center. Two officers were also taken to the hospital for trauma and tinnitus. You know, from those 11 shots.