Riots broke out on Monday during a candlelight vigil that was being held for Kimani (Kiki) Gray, a Brooklyn teenager who was killed over the weekend by New York Police Department officers. The riot happened in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East Flatbush. During the melee, people threw things at police, car windows were broken and one person had a bottle smashed on his head.
After the riot, City Councilman Jumaane Williams said that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg should visit the community. “There’s a lot of anger here,” said Williams. “This isn’t just from one particular shooting. A whole community has not been heard for far too long.” Kelly did end up visiting the area very early on Tuesday morning, but he declined to speak to the press, reports The Daily News.
There is some simmering anger around Gray’s death because the 16-year-old’s family contests the NYPD’s assertion that the young man had a handgun at the time of his death. When the vigil began, about 100 people set off on a march that was supposed to end up outside a nearby police precinct stationhouse. After a small number of the marchers turned violent, the confrontation with the police began.
Mary John, 43, witnessed the incident: “I was sitting in my living room. People were standing up on vehicles. I saw them take garbage from the sidewalk and throw it onto the street. I saw someone take a TV and smash it into my neighbor’s car. They were throwing rocks at the cars. I said, ‘Oh my god! What’s going on here? They were calling out, ‘Rest in peace, Kiki.’ I was shocked.”
One of the candidates to replace Michael Bloomberg as mayor of New York City, Democrat Bill de Blasio, was in the area on Monday night. “I understand if young people are frustrated, but we have to help them understand the way to deal with it should be a peaceful way,” he said. “They have every right to protest — that’s the American way.”
Source: The Daily News