For the fourth consecutive night residents, police officers, and news crews converged on East Flatbush Brooklyn Thursday to take part, respond to, and report the outrage over the fatal police shooting of 16-year old Kimani Gray.
Carol Gray told Pix11, “He’s not the public’s angel. But he’s my baby. And he was slaughtered. And I want to know why. Even after the first shot, second bullet, why third bullet, why fourth bullet, why?”
Gray’s mother seemed to acknowledge the negative characterizations of her son now swirling in the media.
Statements made by the NYPD that Gray was armed, his gun recovered at the scene and other media reports that the teen was an alleged gang member.
But City Councilman Jumaane Williams – who remains a constant presence in East Flatbush — is trying to ease tensions. Williams told PIX11 he is trying to convince the community to remain objective and believes it will be difficult.
Williams was asked if he did not believe what the police department has said about Kimani Gray — he responded, “I think one of the problems is, based on past practices, it’s hard for my community to believe things when the police say. The police have lied to me, about me. So that makes it frustrating to believe.”
“We tell them they should be angry, they should be furious, pissed about what’s happened in this community on a yearly basis, on a daily basis” Williams said. “And we figure out a way to channel that anger. This doesn’t drop off, regardless of what happiness. We have to keep that.”
When asked how difficult is it for him to tell members of the community to reserve judgment on the shooting itself, until the investigation is complete, Williams said, “Extremely difficult, as well as it should be, because there’s been nothing to show them that they should. So it’s like an uphill battle.”
On the heels of all the unrest, the looting and the rioting – allegedly instigated at least in part by “out-of-town” members of the Occupy movement — Williams says it’s now time to unite – peacefully.
“Some of the folks are not willing to stay for the entire discussion only one part of the discussion. And I’m left with 45 young people arrested, bloodied, officers hurt, destruction of property. It doesn’t make sense”, said Williams.
Carol Gray says, “I don’t condone any riots, any looting, any shooting, anything against any police officers.”