NBC 4 New York
There are calls for peace in the Flatbush neighborhood ravaged by days of violent protests over the police shooting of a teenager. Marc Santia reports.
Demonstrators protested loudly, yet peacefully, in Brooklyn Friday against the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy, who officers claim had a gun when he was killed.
Voices in the crowd yelled out for justice for Kimani Gray, who was killed Saturday in a confrontation with police. Police have said the boy had a gun, but his supporters dispute that.
The protests in East Flatbush, now in the fifth day, were relatively calm compared to protests earlier in the week that resulted in arrests, looting and minor scuffles with officers.
Earlier in the week, City Councilman Jumaane Williams blamed people from outside the community for causing trouble, but Friday said he hoped "everybody is speaking with one voice."
"I believe everybody fundamentally wants the same thing." he said. "They want to see justice. They want to see an investigation we can believe in."
Carol Gray spoke publicly for the first time Thursday, choking up as she talked about her son.
Gray, who said she picked out her son's casket earlier Thursday, pleaded for the public to remember him as a typical teen who liked girls, had pimples on his face and was sometimes early for curfew.
"I don't condone any riots, any looting, any shooting, anything against any police officers," she said. "Two police officers shot down Kimani and I only want justice for two police officers to be off the street before they hurt another young kid."
The officers have been placed on administrative duty, the NYPD said. Mayor Bloomberg said "all indications are" that Gray had a gun, but promised a full investigation.
Store owners and residents in East Flatbush were jittery this week after the unrest.
"We can't have violence," resident Leroy Brandon said Thursday. "We live in this community."
Protesters clashed with police Wednesday night after a candlelight vigil for Gray just blocks from where he was shot.
Forty-six people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges.
The Wednesday protest came after 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.
The teen was with a group Saturday night, but left when he saw police in an unmarked car, police said. Authorities said he was acting suspicious and plain clothes officers approached him. According to police, Gray pointed a .38-caliber revolver at them, and they opened fire. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
A gun was recovered at the scene, according to police.
Gray was black. The officers involved in the shooting were black and Hispanic.
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.
But supporters of Gray maintain he wasn't armed. His mother said Thursday she also believes he was not, and said he left the house Saturday afternoon like it was any other weekend, heading out to hang with friends.
On Monday, at a vigil for the teen, dozens of people threw bottles and damaged some stores. Police released surveillance video of two of the convenience stores, where people are seen throwing fruit and stealing. In one, the cashier cowers in a corner as people loot the shop.
Checkey Beckford contributed to this report.