Another black teenage boy shot dead, but this time, the vigil gives way to violence.
Police say that 16-year-old Kimani Gray pointed a gun at them Sunday, which is why they shot him to death. Gray’s family disputes that story, but at this time no clear determination can be made either way. What is certain is that a community vigil organized in memory of him turned violent. The Gothamist reports:
Tonight, a large crowd gathered to remember Gray, and it apparently became unruly as the crowd walked between the shooting location and the 67th Precinct at Snyder Avenue near Nostrand—there were reports that bottles were thrown at police officers. NBC New York estimated the crowd at 70, and the Post says a crowd looted a Rite Aid. The manager said, “They poured in here like 40 or 50 of them. They pulled the registers off the counters, they flipped over everything. They punched me in the face. Several of them did, not just one [person.] It was insane.”
The riot seems to be a response to a perceived NYPD culture of violence, specifically against black men and boys. Many residents are quoted as saying that the cops shoot people in their neighborhood with impunity, and the Good Men Project’s own Brooklyn correspondent Jackie Summers says “I only fear two things in life: impotence and the NYPD. They kill black men, and get away with it.”
As of this writing, the violence is described as having died down, and with luck, there will be no further flareups.