Jamaican mother calls for peace after violent protests over son’s killing

“I don’t condone any riots, any looting, any shooting, anything against any police officers,” said Carol Gray, whose son, Kimani “Kiki” Gray was killed on Saturday night.

Police claimed that Kimani, whose father is Guyanese, had pointed a gun at two plain clothes officers, but family members and eyewitnesses disputed that claim.

“Now I have to place my younger son in the same house,” Gray told a press conference in her first public comments since her son was shot dead. “Today I had to choose the colour of his casket.”

Gray denied reports that Kimani was a member of the Bloods street gang, adding, however, that he wasn’t “everybody’s angel.

“But he was my angel. Any time a group of kids get together, they call it a gang.”

Police said that nearly 50 people were arrested as fights between tlaw enforcement officials and angry youth erupted for the third consecutive night over Kimani’s killing.

Police said they had struggled to control an irate crowd that broke away from a planned peaceful vigil after attendees learned that Kimani was shot in the back.

Protesters hurled bricks, bottles and garbage at cops in the furious clash on Wednesday night, police said.

Cops said Kimani’s sister, Mahnefeh, were among those arrested along Church Avenue in East Flatbush in the heart of the Caribbean community here.

New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesman Paul Browne said a policeman  suffered a cut in the face after hit by a brick and that a window of a police inspector’s car was smashed in the melee.

“Any time a teenager is killed, it really is a tragedy, for the teenager, for the teenager’s family, for the entire community,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters at City Hall.

“But the ways to get answers is not through violence or law-breaking. I can promise you that we will conduct a full and fair investigation.”

City Council members Charles Barron and Jumaane Williams demanded that the Brooklyn district attorney investigate the deadly shooting.

“Most people in the city don’t believe the police version,” Barron told the press conference, flanked by Gray.  “There have been several eyewitnesses who have said he didn’t have a gun.”

Kenneth Montgomery, Gray’s lawyer also disputed the police’s account, citing the autopsy report, which showed that three of the seven bullets that killed Kimani hit him in the back.

“He runs from the police, then decides to turn around and point a gun. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Gray said Kimani was on his way to a sweet 16 party when he was killed in front of his friend’s house.

“Why was he murdered? Why was he slaughtered?,” she said, adding “he  was begging for his life, saying, ‘Don’t shoot me anymore.

“I’m still waiting for Kimani to come home, and today I’m asking for justice, and I’m asking why. I just buried my eldest son two years ago in a car accident, and now I have to place my youngest boy in the same hole,” she added.

Williams, the son of Grenadian parents who represents the district, and a  frequent critic of police tactics, said “outside agitators” were fuelling the flames in the community.

“There are people, well intentioned though they may be, coming into the community and capitalizing on a situation and making it worse,” said Williams, who, two years ago, was unlawfully arrested during the West Indian Day Carnival Parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway. The two cops involved in the incident were later disciplined.

Reprinted from Caribbean360




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