At least 18 have been arrested as protests over a police shooting continued into a third night. The deceased, 16 year old Kimani Gray, was killed by police last Saturday in a controversial shooting.
Many in the community contest police allegations that Gray pointed a gun at cops when he was shot during a confrontation with two plainclothes officers on E. 52nd St. Saturday night. Those suspicions on the street intensified Wednesday when an autopsy report revealed Gray was hit by seven bullets — three to the back.
It was not clear in what order the shots struck the teen or whether he had his back to the police when they opened fire.
The protests themselves have become controversial as violence has broken out during some of the demonstrations including what was supposed to be a peaceful vigil.
The disturbance began at what was initially a peaceful 7 p.m. vigil in memory of Gray, who was shot and killed by two NYPD police officers who claimed the teen pointed a .38 caliber pistol at them. An hour or so in to the vigil, which was held at E. 52nd St. and Tilden Ave., the location of the shooting, the teens began marching to the 67th police precinct.
The procession turned violent after a faction broke off from the estimated 100-plus youths (some estimates claim 200 were in attendance) and started destroying property. These rioters hurled trash cans, bottles, and other objects at police on the scene, while others took out their anger on the property of locals who stood by watching in disbelief.
Police shootings and other law enforcement tactics are an on-running issue in New York but it appears this particular shooting has galvanized segments of the Brooklyn community, particularly younger members of the community. There is no sense of resolution yet so the protests may continue.