Two plainsclothes police officers who shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray in front of his friend’s house in East Flatbush, Brooklyn last Saturday have histories of civil rights violations lawsuits filed against them, according to a published report Monday.
The city paid $215,000 to settle three lawsuits against Sgt. Mourad Mourad and two against officer Jovaniel Cordova, the New York Daily News reports.
The two officers have been placed on administrative duty.
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in Brooklyn for vigils and protests since last Saturday.
"He was my baby," his mother Carol Gray said in an emotional press conference Friday night.
Wearing a black scarf and sunglasses to cover her tears, Gray's mother begged for police to answer questions about her sons murder.
"He was slaughtered, and I want to know why."
This is the second family tragedy. Two years ago, Ms. Gray's older son was killed in a car accident.
Police and eyewitness contradictions
Police said that Saturday night, March 8, Gray was with a group of youth standing in front of a his friend’s home on East 52nd Street when the two officers, from the Brooklyn South Anti-Crime Patrol approached.
The officers were in plain clothes.
Their story is that when they began speaking to the group, Gray acted “suspiciously,” police said.
Police said Gray grabbed for something in his waistband and then pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officers.
When the two plainclothes officers saw the gun, they both fired, according to the police.
Multiple eyewitness reports contradict that police report.
Questions remain about where the police obtained the gun and whose fingerprints are on it.
The two plain clothes officers say they yelled, “Don’t move.”
Witnesses say the officers did not identify themselves as NYPD and that Gray may have thought he was being robbed.
Gray “NEVER obtained a gun and was running for his life,” Justice for Kimani Gray says on Facebook.
“What was Gray doing to attract police attention? Standing on a corner. When they approached he walked away and grabbed at his waistband. Cops zeroed in,” reports MSNBC.
Touré @Tour with MSNBC reported:
Cops using excessive force after years of antagonistic policing that sows distrust in the communities they’re supposed to protect and serve but are actually occupying. Why is it axiomatic for black men to fear and hate the police, for them to be a militarized force instead of part of the community?
A book called Above the Law: Police and the Excessive Use of Force by UC Berkeley law professor Jerome Skolnik and former NYPD officer and Temple University criminal justice professor James Fyfe says police often view their work as an us-versus-them war rather than about community engagement.
They also say excessive police violence persists because of a lack of official accountability. Policing is extraordinarily difficult and dangerous, and most cops worry whether they’re going to go home every day. But the fear-based response means treating citizens like enemy combatants, which can lead to many dead and to million-dollar-settlements in many major cities. (MSNBC)
A short time after police fired at Gray 11 times and shot him 7 times, three times in the back, according to the coroner’s report, he was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.
The two officers who shot and killed Gray were placed on administration duty and commended for acts of bravery on patrol, New York Daily News reports.
"Sgt. Mourad Mourad, an 8-year NYPD veteran, and Officer Jovaniel Cordova have been acknowledged for exceptional work in the field. Both officers were awarded after discharging their weapons in the line of duty."
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