By: Julie Caponigro
Saturday night, March ninth, two undercover police men shot and killed a sixteen year old boy in New York City. There is a massive amount of buzz about the possible wrongdoings of these officers. There are many different stories about the exact situation that occurred. Eye witnesses have produced statements that police officers were said to have no right to shoot sixteen year old Kimani Gray.
The buzz surrounding this incident has grown exponentially since the weekend. The community in which Kimani Gray lived has been in uproar. They feel that the police acted out of prejudice and racism rather than out of necessity. There was a riot on Monday evening at a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Gray. The community was there to honor his loss but the crowd turned violent by 8:30 pm. The shops surrounding the vigil were raided and left with smashed windows and broken merchandise. Police filled the street to attempt to reign in the crowd to prevent further problems. The riots have not stopped. For three days demonstrators have filled the streets to express their anger toward the police and this incident resulting in the loss of a young life.
Many eyewitnesses have stated that the police did not have any reason to fire. Furthermore, they fired off eleven rounds all together, an extreme amount for two trained officers of the law to need. One eyewitness states that Gray was “running for his life” when he was shot dead. “He was running for his life, telling the cops, ‘Stop,’ said witness Camille Johnson. ‘They really are, seriously, walking around, shooting little kids.’ Another Eyewitness says Gray was adjusting his belt, not shooting his gun, when the shooting began.“ Mr. Gray’s sister, Mahnefah Gray, 19, said that a witness to the shooting told her that her brother had been fixing his belt when he was shot. Additionally, Gray supposedly said “please don’t let me die” after he was shot. One of the officers allegedly responded “Stay down or, we’ll shoot you again.” Gray’s sister, Mahnefah Gray, among others who knew Mr. Gray, said they “had never known him to have a gun.” Gray’s cousin, Malik Vernon, also “insisted he didn’t own a gun.” (thinkprogress.org).
With all of these stories surrounding the incident it is no wonder why the riots have been occurring. There is no foreseeable end to this violence as the police cannot bring Kimani back. Police stay firm in their position that Gray was adjusting his belt in a suspicious manner and pulled out a gun on the policemen.