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Common Dreams

Demonstrators Met With Riot Police, Arrests at Vigil for Brooklyn Teen Shot by Police

Heavy police presence, "media blockout" continue in days following shooting of Kimani Gray

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Demonstrators gathered for a third night in a row in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn Wednesday night over the shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray by the NYPD over the weekend. Residents from the area who marked the evening with another protest and candlelight vigil were met once again by riot police—who arrested up to 50 protesters in the area including Gray’s sister.

Sophie Lewis at In These Times reports that the "whole of East Flatbush is becoming a so-called Frozen Zone: an unofficial NYPD tactic of totally excluding the media from an area."

Lewis reports on the scene Wednesday night:

Scores of police squads have descended upon the growing vigils on Church Avenue. Last night, hundreds of protesters faced off with police, contesting efforts to net and mass-arrest them throughout the evening. Council member Charles Barron told Democracy Now: 'This is the least that the community could do is to respond and resist.'

Late in the night, police arrested Kimani Gray’s sister and an estimated 46 others—mainly local young people, and some outside supporters—who remain detained at several precincts.

Local reports have said that a heavy police presence has remained in the area throughout the day.

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Carol Gray, the mother of Kimani Gray, spoke out for the first time on Thursday afternoon from the office of City Councilman Charles Barron. She said that her son was slaughtered and she wants to know why.

“I’m asking for justice,” she said, telling reporters her unarmed son was killed in front of his best friend’s house after a birthday party.

Reports have differed greatly between police and local residents over how and why police shot up to 11 rounds at the young man, who was adjusting his waistband in what the police said was a "suspicious manner." While police say Gray was armed, eyewitnesses have said he was “running for his life” when he was shot dead.

Lewis continues:

Kimani’s killing was the latest in an unrelenting stream of similar incidents across New York City and the United States. There have been 79 killings by law enforcement officers in the U.S. in 2013 alone. Present at last night’s demonstrations were Bronx community activists Constance Malcolm and Franclot Graham, the parents of Ramarley Graham, whom the police slayed in his grandmother’s bathroom at close range slightly over a year ago. [...]

Activists are up against not just the police, but also the very logic that normalizes police violence and permits the public to rationalize Black deaths.

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