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Brooklyn teens held a protest Monday night -- that some reports say broke into a riot -- in response to the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray by NYPD officers, reports the Daily Mail.
The 16-year-old boy was hanging out with friends Saturday night when they were approached by undercover officers who allegedly asked him to show his hands. Authorities claim that it was only after Gray suspiciously reached for his waistband that an officer fired 11 rounds.
According to The Gothamist, “Gray was shot multiple times in the leg and stomach when he pointed a .357 revolver at the cops in East Flatbush just before 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. ‘The cops, they just jumped out of the car so fast, witness Devonte Brown said. ‘They started shooting him and he went down, he was bleeding, holding his side, screaming, ‘stop, stop,’ Brown said of Gray.”
"After the anti-crime sergeant and police officer told the suspect to show his hands, which was heard by witnesses, Gray produced a revolver and pointed it at the officers, who fired a total of 11 rounds, striking Gray several times," Paul J. Browne, the NYPD's chief spokesman, told the New York Times.
But as Think Progress notes, eyewitness accounts differ from the official police reports. One witness, Camille Johnson, told Pix 11 that Gray was "running for his life, telling the cops 'Stop.'" She went on, telling the news station,"They really are, seriously shooting little kids."
According to the Times, another witness told Gray's sister, Mahnefeh, that Gray was fixing his belt, not reaching for a gun, when he was shot. Mahnefeh, as well as Gray's mother, insisted that Gray didn't own a gun and that, even if he did, he would not have pointed it at police, telling the Wall Street Journal, "He has common sense...They killed my little brother for no reason."
Another witness, who lives across the street from where the shooting took place, told the Times that Gray pleaded with the officers, telling them, "Please don't let me die." The police reportedly responded by telling the wounded 16-year-old, "Stay down or we'll shoot you again."
According to NBC New York, there were roughly 70 protesters who marched to the 67th Precinct station in East Flatbush and threw garbage and empty bottles at the windows. No police were injured, and there were no damages to the building during the protest.
"Some angry kids were protesting the death of a friend," said witness Martin Williams. "They were marching through the street, yelling and protesting."
The protesters continued to march from Snyder Avenue and ended up at Church and East 57th Street where the protest continued. There were police in riot gear along the block with barricades, but there were no reports of arrests.
The two NYPD officers who shot Kimani Gray have been placed on administrative duty.