NEW YORK—Nearly 100 people rioted on the streets of East Flatbush in Brooklyn Monday night following a vigil for an armed teen shot by police on Saturday, the AP reported.
The disorderly crowd marched on Church Ave. close to the 67th Precinct, breaking bottles, car windows, and damaging storefronts. A Rite Aid customer was injured by the rioters, according to Councilman Jumaane Williams. One person was arrested for disorderly conduct, police told WPIX.
“Tonight we saw an explosion of anger from the youth in my community. We have talked about this anger for years, but still the resources have not come to address it,” Williams said in a statement. “We have talked about the corrosive relationship between our community and the NYPD, but still the Mayor and the Commissioner have failed to address the root causes of this tension.”
Police shot and killed Kimani “Kiki” Gray, 16, on March 9. According to police, the teen acted suspiciously when approached by police officers and then pointed a gun at them. The police fired 11 shots, striking Gray several times. A .38-caliber revolver was recovered at the scene.
“I was sitting in my living room,” Mary John, 43, told the Daily News. “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.”
Gray had a criminal record, police say. A police source also told the Daily News that there is reason to believe that Gray was a member of the Bloods gang. The source referred to videos on YouTube detailing violence between the Bloods and Crips street gangs. Gray can be seen hitting a 13 year old in one of the videos.
At a public safety hearing on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he was in the area at Monday night until 1 a.m.
“Ninety-six percent of the shootings in this city are by people of color,” Kelly said at the hearing. “How about talking about a 16 year old with a gun.”
Update: Kelly declined an invitation from Councilman Williams to walk around the neighborhood where the shooting occurred and speak with residents, calling it a “political photo op.”
“I’m willing to cancel the rest of my afternoon and have you come to the community and walk with me and talk with some of the people,” said Williams. ”I appreciate my access to your office, my access to all the commanding offices, but the community needs some of that.” He attributed some of the anger displayed during the riots toward the policies behind stop, question, and frisk. Williams favors reforming stop and frisk.
Kelly later told reporters that the NYPD canvassed a range of witnesses in the neighborhood, and are particularly paying attention to three that saw a gun and described the suspects. Kelly believes the NYPD can find the described suspects.
Kelly declined to elaborate over why he didn’t want to join Williams in a walk around the neighborhood.
Afterward Williams spoke to reporters outside City Hall, saying there’s a combination of problems behind the violence, including the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Kelly. “Let’s not pretend that this was about one shooting incident,” said Williams.
Williams added that the way Kelly declined his invitation was flippant when it should have been serious.
When asked what kind of reaction there would be in the community if Kelly did go there and walk around, Williams said it would be planned in a fruitful way.
“There will be some angry people,” he added. “But it’s the right thing to do.”