Crowd Protests For A Second Night In The Wake Of Brooklyn Police Shooting
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police were on alert in Brooklyn on Tuesday night for another round of violence stemming from a deadly officer-involved shooting.
Just like on Monday night, crowds gathered to protest the weekend police-involved shooting of what cops said was an armed 16-year-old boy.
As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, Tuesday’s crowd was largely peaceful, but there was pushing, shoving and shouting and one arrest.
The crowd marched down Church Avenue in East Flatbush, to the 67th Precinct. The residents expressed themselves with loud, profanity-laced chants denouncing police practices, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
They were protesting the killing of Kimani Gray, who was shot by police when they say he pointed a gun at them.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-45th), who exchanged heated words with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly at a committee hearing earlier in the day, was in East Flatbush observing the protest Tuesday evening.
“We want to make sure that nothing crazy goes on between the police and the people who want to express their views,” Williams said.
Monday night was a far uglier night, with bottles and fruit thrown, bus windows broken and a Rite Aid drug store ransacked.
After the violence, Gray’s family asked that another vigil for the teen be postponed. The family pastor, the Rev. Gilford Monrose, said Gray’s mother lost another son in a car accident just two years ago.
“The family is hurting – pain that is indescribable at this point in time,” Monrose said.
Kelly detailed earlier Tuesday what he believes took place the night before.
Police officers fatally shot Gray, a reported gang member, on Saturday, CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported. Police said Gray pulled a gun on officers, but his family disputes that claim.
At the earlier committee hearing, Councilman Williams accused police of failing to address the needs of the community where the shooting happened.
Commissioner Kelly: “I noticed you didn’t mention anything about a 16-year-old with a gun the other evening that brought about this.”
Williams: “What you want to do is belittle the problems. We’re not going to pretend what happened yesterday is just one incident. It is not about the details of one shooting. It is about how you and the NYPD and the mayor have reacted to these communities.”
Williams: “I’ll cancel the rest of my afternoon and have you come to the community and walk with me and talk to some of the people so they can see someone cares about them.”
Kelly: “I go to community meetings all the time. I understand that’s a photo op that you would like.”
Williams: “It’s not a photo op.”
Williams also squared off with Kelly about police methods, including the stop-and-frisk policy.
Speaking about the events of Monday night, the police commissioner said that on the way to the 67th Precinct, some people stole fruit from local markets and threw the fruit and then the disorderly group disrupted a Rite Aid drug store on Church Avenue.
“They trashed the location. They took a man who was a customer. They tried to take the cash register. He tried to stop them. He was hit over the head with a wine bottle,” Kelly said.
That customer, the Rev. Mark King, picked the wrong time to be inside the Rite Aid, as the crowd poured in, trashed the aisles, and then turned their attention to King, pummeling him on the ground.
That 51-year-old victim’s cell phone was taken during the wild incident, which was captured on surveillance video and released by the NYPD on Tuesday afternoon.
“He was on the cell phone, so they said, ‘Give me that,’” said Larry Scantlebury, a parishioner at the church where King serves as pastor.
Scantlebury said King is recovering, but still very upset.
“He’s very, very shaken up,” Scantlebury said.
Authorities are looking for anyone with information about the store incident to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or submit tips to nypdcrimestoppers.com.
At the Church Farm Market, people threw produce, trashed two registers, stole money and threw a bottle at the cashier. Over at U Farm Land, more produce was thrown and $1,000 from the register and flowers were taken.
Young Sin, the owner of U Farm Land at 4924 Church Ave., was also horrified by what she saw.
“I tried to make them stop, but they didn’t want to listen,” she said.
Business owners said they are hoping the streets stay safe.
“I worry about everybody,” Sin said. “There are a lot of nice people in the community; just a few people making trouble.”
Kelly said nothing can justify Monday’s night disruptive behavior, but added he believes what happened should not reflect poorly on a protest that was largely “peaceful.”
“I don’t think that has or should have any relationship to a peaceful demonstration,” he said.
Kelly said preliminarily, the police-involved shooting of Gray appeared to be within NYPD guidelines.
Plainclothes officers from the Brooklyn South Anti-Crime Patrol were walking East Flatbush on Saturday night when they came upon a group of young men standing in front of a home on East 52nd Street, according to police.
When the officers approached and started to talk to the group around 11:30 p.m., Gray began acting suspiciously and ran from the officers, police said.
Police said at one point, Gray grabbed for something in his waistband, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported Sunday. Gray pulled out a gun and turned at the officers, according to police.
When the plainclothes officers saw the gun, they both fired. Gray was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital a short time later, police said.
The commissioner said two eyewitnesses heard the police yell to the suspect to “freeze” and “don’t move.”
A loaded gun was recovered at the scene, police said.
The Brooklyn district attorney is investigating and will decide if the case will go to a grand jury.
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