Tensions Mount After Police Fatally Shoot Brooklyn Teenager Kimani Gray
A candlelit vigil for a Brooklyn teen killed by New York City police officers left two people injured and led to one arrest Monday night.
C.S. Muncy See More Photos: Scenes From the Vigil and Protests for Slain BK Teen Kimani Gray
At approximately 7:00 pm, roughly 200 people gathered in East Flatbush for a somber vigil to remember Kimani Gray, a 16 year-old shot and killed by plainclothes police officers Saturday night after allegedly pointing a gun at them.
Following the memorial at E. 52nd St. and Tilden Ave., the site of Saturday's shooting, mourners began marching toward the 67th precinct but access to building was cut off by police.
Garbage cans were flipped over as the crowd moved through the streets and witnesses claimed the demonstrators threw objects at the police.
Approximately 60 individuals broke off from the march and entered a Rite Aid store on Church Avenue, where they pulled items from the shelves and tipped over a number of displays, NYPD Deputy Inspector Kim Royster said.
Royster said a customer in the store suffered a laceration to the head after being struck with a bottle. The man was transferred to Kings County Hospital Center where he was listed in stable condition. The manager of the store was also injured by the crowd but declined medical treatment. Royster said no money was taken from the store and the ordeal was captured on surveillance cameras.
An individual was arrested for disorderly conduct before the crowd moved into the store, Royster added.
City council member Jumaane Williams hurried to the scene as claims of a "riot" in Brooklyn spread over twitter.
Williams himself took to the social media site as he tried to calm the crowd.
"I'm in the middle of the riot action at Church and Snyder in my district. Right now, things are tense. Young people have expressed anger," Williams tweeted.
"Tonight was a peaceful vigil that devolved into a riot," he added. "The youth in this community have no outlets for their anger, no community center."
Gray's death has enraged many in the community and fueled competing versions of events.
According to the department, a pair of plainclothes officers in an unmarked car approached Gray and a number of other young men on a stoop at approximately 11:30 pm Saturday night.
A department press release claims Gray broke away from the group, adjusted his waistband and acted "in a suspicious manner." When the officers identified themselves and asked that he show his hands, police say the teen produced a gun and pointed it at them. According to the NYPD, the officers responded by firing 11 shots, hitting Gray "several times." He was transferred to Kings County Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead.
Police say they found a .38 caliber revolver near Gray's body, with two expensed rounds and four live rounds remaining.
The officers--one a veteran of eight years, the other a veteran of five--were taken to New York Methodist Hospital for trauma and tinnitus. They have not been identified and have been placed on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated.
On Monday, a police source told the New York Daily News the department believes Gray was a Bloods gang member and referenced a pair of videos uploaded online. According to the Daily News, the first appears to show Gray smacking and taunting a 13 year-old rival Crips gang member. A second video purports to show the Crips' retaliation, with young men in blue taunting Gray inside a McDonalds.
The Voice discovered videos of two separate incidents that appear to match the paper's description. The first was hosted on the popular website World Star Hip Hop in October 2012 and was viewed nearly half a million times. In the video, a young man in a red-hooded sweatshirt slaps a young man in a blue hooded sweatshirt while the narrator says "shapow." The phrase appears to have created something of a minor internet meme, with multiple videos posted in response, including some which show young men in blue "retaliating against the same bloods that were in the first video" at a McDonalds. The Voice was unable to confirm if the young man in the red sweatshirt was Gray, though comments on the videos suggest so.
Family and friends have called the department's version of events into question and maintain the boy everyone knew as 'Kiki' was a good kid.