NYPD Kills Teen Who Witness Says Was Just Adjusting Belt

NYPD says the shot the teen 11 times because he was reaching for a gun. But eyewitnesses say the teen was just running for his life.

By Jorge Rivas Mar 12, 2013

Two plainclothes New York City Police officers shot and killed a teenage boy late Saturday night in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Police officers say Kimani Gray, 16, adjusted his waistband in a "suspicious manner" before they fired 11 rounds.

Local news sources however are offering conflicting reports.

An eyewitness told Pix11 that Gray was "running for his life" when he was shot dead and never brandished a weapon.

"’He was running for his life, telling the cops, ‘Stop,’" witness Camille Johnson told Pix11 in the video report seen at the top of this story. "They really are, seriously, walking around, shooting little kids," Johnson went on to say.

The New York Times interviewed Gray’s sister who reported Kimani did not own a gun: 

Mr. Gray’s sister, Mahnefah Gray, 19, said that a witness to the shooting told her that her brother had been fixing his belt when he was shot. She, among others who knew Mr. Gray, said they had never known him to have a gun. Even if he had one on Saturday night, he would not have pointed it at police officers, Ms. Gray said.

However, Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Department tells the Times a much different story.

"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," Mr. Browne said.

A woman who identified herself as Gray’s cousin corroborated with the police department’s story and told NY1 that the teenager was carrying the handgun for a friend. She also thought that Gray was trying to alert police that he had a weapon, rather than use it.

Gray’s sister Manefah challenged those statements. 

"Fixing his belt, fixing his belt was technically what he had. He had to really pull it because he had a skinny waist. So probably he was grabbing his belt to squeeze it," said Mahnefah Gray. "They thought he was grabbing back to get a gun. He’s 16 years old. What is he pointing a gun at over six police, knowing that they would kill him? He has common sense."