Kimani Gray Protesters Riot After Learning Cops Shot Teen In The Back
Protesters enraged over the fatal shooting of a teenager by police poured into Brooklyn streets for a third straight night Wednesday, pitching bricks, bottles and garbage in furious clashes with cops.
At least 46 demonstrators were arrested along Church Ave. in East Flatbush. Police struggled to control a hostile crowd that broke away from a planned peaceful vigil for Kimani (Kiki) Gray, 16, killed by police on Saturday night.
Gray’s sister Mahnefeh was among those arrested. A police officer suffered a gash in the face when a tossed brick hit him, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said, and a window was smashed in an inspector’s car.
“They didn’t have to kill him,” Makaeo Williams, 18, said as police on motorcycles tracked alongside him. “I’m feeling mad inside. I’m angry. That’s why I’m out here.”
Many in the community contest police allegations that Gray pointed a gun at cops when he was shot during a confrontation with two plainclothes officers on E. 52nd St. Saturday night. Those suspicions on the street intensified Wednesday when an autopsy report revealed Gray was hit by seven bullets — three to the back.
It was not clear in what order the shots struck the teen or whether he had his back to the police when they opened fire.
A witness told the Daily News Tuesday that the youth did not have a gun in his hand. But a police spokesman said the witness told detectives she couldn’t see the incident clearly “from the angle I was at.”
A woman who identified herself as Gray’s cousin told news outlets Wednesday that the teen was carrying a gun for a friend and was trying to alert cops that he had a weapon when he was shot. A loaded .38-caliber revolver was recovered at the scene.
The trouble Wednesday night began soon after more than 200 people set off from the vigil site at Church Ave. and E. 55th St. around 8:30 p.m.
Dozens chanted “NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today” as they marched west on Church Ave. toward the 67th Precinct stationhouse.
But things quickly got out of hand as some protesters tried to climb on police motorcycles. Men and women were pepper-sprayed and thrown to the ground and handcuffed.
“I’m scared for everything, myself, my store, my workers,” said Salm Sami, 45, who owns the Deli, Grill & Grocery at Church and New York Aves. “This is three days of this.”
The protesters eventually backtracked to the vigil site where the parents of Ramarley Graham — an unarmed teenager fatally shot by police in the Bronx last year — were waiting. “It never seems to end,” said Frank Graham, Ramarley’s father. “The community has a right to be angry.”
But City Councilman Jumaane Williams, a frequent NYPD critic, blasted outsiders who he said escalated tensions. “Please stay the HELL out of our community will only agitate our kids,” Williams fumed on Twitter. “It’s dangerous and counterproductive.” “
With Thomas Tracy, Joe Kemp and Rocco Parascandola.