Social justice activists and supporters of Kimani Gray’s family are outraged today.
According to the NY Daily News, a federal judge ruled that police officers were justified in arresting 16-year-old Kimani Gray as he lay dying in the street on March 9, 2013.
Gray’s family filed the two claims of wrongful death in 2014 on behalf of their teenage son, Kimani, who died from gunshot wounds sustained from two plainclothes police officers. The judge scrapped those two claims.
The judge justified her ruling by asserting her decision was based on her personal opinion of Gray’s family claims that he was unarmed against that of the police officers and city lawyers who claim Gray pointed a firearm at them. Witnesses claim the teen had his hands up.
What happened to Kimani Gray
Kimani Gray was reportedly hanging out with a group of friends but started to leave when he saw police in an unmarked car. Authorities said Gray was acting suspicious and plain clothes officers approached him. According to police, Gray pointed a .38-caliber revolver at them, and they opened fire. Gray was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
The medical examiner’s office ruled that Gray was hit seven times, and had wounds in both the front and back of his body, including his shoulder, rib cage, forearm and legs.
A police officer may use deadly force when the officer has a reasonable fear of serious injury or death. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the shooting appeared to be within those guidelines.
Gray’s family maintains he wasn’t armed, and people in his Brooklyn community were outraged.
“I want to see justice,” said Jamal Williams, 18, a friend who grew up with Gray in the same East Flatbush neighborhood. “I want to see these cops taken down.”
A family fights for justice
The family of Kimani Gray is pressing on in their fight for justice. The case is still moving forward over claims of the cops’ “unreasonable use of deadly force” by shooting the teenager seven times and leaving him without any medical attention as he bled out on an East Flatbush street. They are also accusing the officers involved of inflicting pain and suffering onto the dying victim.
In July, 2014, the Brooklyn District Attorney declined to press charges against the officers involved in Gray’s death.
Adding further insult to the family’s pain, Sgt. Mourad Mourad, one of the officers present during the fatal shooting, was honored as Cop of the Year by the NYPD Muslim Officers Society. Mourad declined to accept the award.
A second cousin of the victim, Ray Charles, said after the shooting that he was devastated to learn of Gray’s death and that he was still having trouble accepting the NYPD’s official version of events.
“My cousin was scared of guns,” said Charles. “I honestly just want justice. They didn’t need to shoot him like that.”