On Saturday night, two undercover police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray. According to the police account, the officers approached Gray when he “adjusted his waistband in what the police describe as a suspicious manner.” When the police asked him to “show his hands,” they claim Gray turned around and pointed a gun at the officers, who fired 11 rounds. The weapon police say belonged to Gray was not fired.
Although there is no confirmed evidence of wrongdoing by the officers, whose names have not be released, several witnesses cast doubts on the official version of the incident:
1. Eyewitness says 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.’” [Pix11, 3/10/13]
2. 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.” [New York Times, 3/10/13]
3. Eyewitness says, after he was shot, Gray said “please don’t let me die.” One of the officers responded “Stay down or, we’ll shoot you again.” [New York Times, 3/10/13]
4. Friends says “Kimani had just returned from a baby shower, and was shot only minutes after he was dropped off on East 52nd Street.” [NY1, 3/10/13]
5. Gray’s sister and others say he did not own a gun. “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. She, 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.” [New York Times, 3/10/13; New York Post, 3/11/13]