Eyewitness "Certain" Kimani Gray Was Unarmed When Police Shot Him
The only civilian eyewitness to come forward in the case of a Brooklyn teen shot dead by a pair of plainclothes New York City police officers is "certain" the 16 year-old was empty-handed when the cops opened fire.
Kimani 'Kiki' Gray was shot several times by two officers patrolling East Flatbush in an un-marked car around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night.
According to the NYPD's account, the officers spotted Gray standing with five other young males in front of a home at E. 52nd St., near Tilden Ave. As the officers approached, Gray separated from the group and adjusted his waistband in a manner the officers deemed suspicious, the department says.
"After the anti-crime sergeant and police officer told the suspect to show his hands, which was heard by witnesses, Gray produced a revolver and pointed it at the officers, who fired a total of 11 rounds, striking Gray several times," Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Department, said.
Gray was taken to Kings County Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The officers--one a veteran of eight years, the other a veteran of five--have not been identified. They have been placed on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated.
A New York Daily News report published early Wednesday morning cast considerable doubt on the NYPD's version of events.
Tishana King claims to have watched the entire scene unfold from her window. She told the Daily News she is "certain [Gray] didn't have anything in his hands" when he was shot.
King says Gray was backing up when the officers began shooting. "Kimani started backing up," she said. "The cop took out his gun and started firing at Kimani."
"His [Gray's] hands were down," she said. "I couldn't believe he let off [fired] his gun. There was no reason. No false move."
A police source told the Daily News the officers who killed Gray initially reported to supervisors that he pulled a gun. King gave a tape recorded interview to the NYPD hours after the shooting and never mentioned the teen possessing a firearm.
A .38-caliber Rohm's Industry revolver was found at the scene.
Multiple witnesses have claimed Gray begged not to be killed.
Sharon Smith told the Voice she witnessed the shooting and said her daughter was outside when it happened; "[She] heard him say 'don't kill me, don't kill me.' And they say 'stay still' or they going to shoot you again."
On Tuesday New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly spoke to reporters following the City Council's budget hearing. He answered a number of questions about the shooting. The exchange was recorded and posted on Capital New York's website.
When asked how many witnesses saw Gray with a gun or pointing a gun, Commissioner Kelly first said that, "We are not speaking to the shooting officers because of an agreement that we have with the district attorney."
The commissioner explained that speaking to the officers could give them immunity; "So we don't have direct information from the officers themselves."
When asked if there are any witnesses in the case who "specifically say they don't see a gun," Commissioner Kelly said, "No."
The commissioner went on to say the department has three civilian witness.
Two of them heard an officer say, "Don't move," the commissioner said. The third said they heard an officer say "freeze." The commissioner added that one of the witnesses also heard an officer say, "What do you have in your hands?"
"We have several ear witnesses that hear the shots fired but nothing more. These are the three witnesses that have something of import," Commissioner Kelly said.
Asked again if "witnesses say the gun was pointed at the officer at any time," the commissioner said, "No. I told you what we have as far as the witness is concerned." He added, "There's nothing to indicate that this shooting, at this time, was outside the guidelines."