March, Rally in Brooklyn: Outrage Continues over Police Murder of "Kiki" Gray

March 13, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editor's Note: On Saturday night, March 9, 16-year-old Kimani Gray was hanging out with some friends in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Two plainclothes cops in an unmarked car rolled up on them. A few minutes later, the cops fired 11 rounds at Gray, with 7 shots hitting and killing him. Three of the bullets entered from the back. The police always have a "story" to justify such crimes. The New York Times wrote that "The teenager separated himself from the group and adjusted his waistband in what the police described as a suspicious manner." So now fixing up your belt is cause for the police to execute a young Black man on the street—along with holding a cell phone, taking out a wallet, holding a toy gun, etc., etc.

According to a NY Times article, "A woman who lives across the street from the shooting scene said that after the shots were fired, she saw two men, whom she believed to be plainclothes officer, standing over Mr. Gray, who was prone on the sidewalk, clutching his stomach." According to this witness, Kimani said, "Please don't let me die." And one of the cops answered, "Stay down, or we'll shoot you again." Other news reports cite statements by witnesses that Kimani Gray did not point a gun; or that he had no gun at all, or that his hands had been in the air.

Police brutality is rampant in East Flatbush. Residents of all ages and walks of life complain of constant harassment, and youth in the area have targets on their backs—every one of them walks out of their house each day not knowing if they will end up in jail or dead. Just a year ago, and just blocks from where Kimani Gray was murdered by police, a NYPD detective shot and killed Shantel Davis, an unarmed 23-year-old woman, for being a suspect in an auto theft.

The police murder of Kimani Gray has already led to three days of street protests. The police and the system's media are pumping out all kinds of totally irrelevant bullshit about things Kimani Gray was supposed to have done at one time or another. But outrage in the community has grown as more facts come to light. The Times reported that the release of an autopsy report that indicated three of the bullets that killed Kimani Gray entered his body from the rear served to "fan the flames of a community already distrustful of the police and increasingly incensed about the shooting of the teenager."

At a Monday night vigil for Kimani Gray, anger flowed out into the streets of East Flatbush, and protests have continued. The following is a report from a Revolution reader.

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From a reader:

3/13/13: For the second night in a row on Tuesday, over a hundred people rallied and marched through East Flatbush, angry and outraged over the murder of 16-year-old Kimani "Kiki" Gray at the hands of undercover NYPD pigs.  Various people on the scene and the press reported that the previous night, 100 to 200 people marched in the streets, headed to the NYPD 67th Precinct, after a memorial vigil for Kimani.  They were met by scores of cops grabbing people and setting up a line of pigs to stop them from getting to the precinct.  Reports are that police were grabbing people and trying to shove them out of the street onto the sidewalk.  Reports are that metal police barricades, trashcans and garbage were thrown into the streets to stop the NYPD cars from following the march.  Afterwards, the whole area was on police lockdown with police wearing helmets and carrying riot batons and police cruising the streets on every block for a long stretch of Church Avenue.

On Tuesday night, people were determined to show their outrage and anger, demanding that the NYPD stop killing their children.  Initially about 60 people gathered, in large majority various middle class activists, including a significant number of people that had been active in Occupy, along with some people from the community.  As the people marched, the crowd grew to over a hundred with people from the area gathering to watch and listen.  Large numbers of police in riot gear were on the scene from the beginning.  Even before the march, the police were fucking with people as they gathered, telling people that they were blocking the sidewalk. In the face of this, the people took off in a spirited and determined march with people from the area joining along the way.  A long line of police marched in the street alongside the people's march.

 People chanted:

NYPD, KKK, how many kids have you killed today
Fuck the police
No justice, no peace

Many, many people watching along the way were glad to see people marching, with some joining. Overall this was a very chaotic scene. Police were all over the place and people were never sure if they were going to attack the march.  The police blocked people from getting to the precinct.  The main bulk of the march was practically surrounded by the police and the march organizers decided to have a rally on the spot.  We, along with some of the marchers and people that were gathering from the community, were blocked from joining the rally and were stuck on the other side of the street. 

A revolutionary started agitating about, "How long will the police keep killing our children like Kimani Gray?  Revolution, nothing less is what it's going to take."  He did a whole riff on "how many more?", naming various people killed by the police and after each one saying, "REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!"  People were clapping as he did this.  He spoke to three strikes, making the point about it's the police that today carry out the lynchings.  People really liked this.  He spoke to how we have to worry every time our children go out the door that they will be killed by the police.   He challenged people to come to the premiere to hear how revolution could be made and we could win, overcoming all the outrages. This message connected with many in the crowd.

Among the masses, people were very, very angry.  No one believed the police story that Kimani had a gun.  A number of people said no one would be that stupid to point a gun at the police.  And many were angry about the character assassination of Kimani being carried out in the press. People want these murders to stop. 

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