Following a candlelit vigil in Brooklyn, NY for 16-year-old Kimani Gray, who was shot dead by undercover police officers over the weekend, residents staged a candlelit vigil and march to express their outrage and were met by riot police on the streets.
According to local accounts, police followed the march through the East Flatbush neighborhood where the shooting took place and searched apartment buildings in the neighborhood without warrants, looking for children who had been seen throwing bottles at police from neighborhood rooftops.
Riot police were seen throughout the area and set up barricades along several streets. March participants chanted, "NYPD / KKK / how many kids will you kill today," witnesses reported.
The demonstration became heated as residents surrounded the 67th Precinct station in East Flatbush, while some reportedly threw garbage and empty bottles at the windows. Local reports said that some residents broke car windows while others looted a Rite Aid pharmacy.
"I'm in the middle of the riot action at Church and Snyder in my district. Right now, things are tense," New York City Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, who represents the area, said on Twitter.
Williams added: "There’s a lot of anger here. This isn’t just from one particular shooting. A whole community has not been heard for far too long."
At Salon, journalist Natasha Lennard comments:
There was a debate on Twitter Monday night as to whether a riot or a protest was going on in Brooklyn. Although questions of when an event gets labeled a “riot” or a “protest” are interesting (is race a factor? window-breaking? the presence of riot cops?), there are no determinate answers, and what’s more important, and certain, is this: Anger at the NYPD following the fatal shooting of another teenager is once again boiling over and manifesting in New York’s streets.
Reports vary greatly between police and local residents over how and why police were compelled to fire 11 rounds at the young man, who was adjusting his waistband in what the police describe as a "suspicious manner." While police say Gray was armed, eyewitnesses have said he was “running for his life” when he was shot dead.
Another vigil for Gray and a larger protest against police brutality has been called for Tuesday night in the same neighborhood, East Flatbush.
The Facebook event page reads: “The killing has to stop. Enough is Enough!”