This is an undated picture of Kimani Grey, the 16 year old boy that was shot by two plainclothes officers from Brooklyn's 67th precinct this past weekend.
The plainclothes officers said that Kimani left a group of teens as the officers approached them in their unmarked car. The officers went on to state that Kimani aroused their suspicion as he awkwardly adjusted his waistband while leaving the group of boys. The officers said they approached Kimani, told him to show them his hands after which Kimani turned around and pointed a revolver at them. The officers then said that they opened fire on the boy.
A witness in the neighborhood said that he was shot while running away and screaming "stop".
Kimani's sister said that her brother wasn't stupid enough to do what the officers described him as doing.
I have serious doubts that Kimani pointed a gun at the cops. My guess is that they caught him when he had the gun in his hands and he didn't know how to respond. He probably figured his best bet was to follow instructions.
I think the best thing to do in such a situation is to state something to the effect of "I have a gun. I am surrendering. What should i do with it?".
When he turned around with the gun in his hands - the cops didn't see a stupid kid, they saw a hardened criminal, felt as thought their lives were in danger and they responded in kind.
The problem is that most people know him as a harmless kid who wasn't really a big threat to anyone...and that is what will fuel this and all other community outrage over how minority communities are policed.
what i wrote in the paragraph above begs the question "If someone carrying a gun isn't a 'big threat', what then is actually a big threat?". I don't think anyone that knew Kimani believes that he was the kind of person who would have actually pointed a gun at the police. Holding and pointing are two very different things.
I feel like this will all end as so many other cases have - the police will not be called on to admit that their plainclothes guys exercised poor judgment...because doing so would put the NYPD up for civil liability. I feel like the police will present Kimani in a manner that justifies the force they used...they will probably present him as "Shapow", a heartless and violent criminal/gangbanger.
We will probably see this video (see Kimani in the red adidas hoodie as he slaps a newly "turned" (minted) crip after taunting him)
...and we will probably see more of this picture (these particular beads indicate that he is a blood)
He's got his beads on in this picture and he's slapping crips in the video...i mean...it's only a matter of time before he kills someone or he gets himself killed, right?
The flip side of this story is "what do we expect police officers to do when they feel like their lives are in danger?". The last thing we want to hear about it a police officer getting shot or killed in the line of duty. Another thing to consider is the fact that police aren't trained to shoot to disarm or to immobilize - they are trained to shoot to kill. If their guns are drawn, they fear for their lives. You don't want to do anything that would cause a police officer to fear for his or her life - no matter how profiled you feel...no matter how wrong their judgment is...inspiring fear in the heart of a police officer is the last thing that anyone would want to do.
...it's just a shame that it all worked out this way.