The Questionable Reporting of Kimani Gray’s Killing
Kimani Gray, a sixteen-year-old boy from Brooklyn, was shot and killed by undercover cops Saturday. Kimani, who the New York Times’ Hiroko Masuike refers to as a “teenaged gunman” in an article about the killing, is yet another murdered young black teen who is being framed as a thuggish criminal.
Much of the reporting on this story is from the accounts of the police, which is hardly surprising—after all, the Times hardly wants to write what any pro-police party might call a smear piece, or at least fit an alternate point of view into the lede, a point of view that calls into question the department’s story.
“They shot him,” one anonymous witness said of the officers’ actions. “They didn’t ask him no questions, no nothing, they just shot him.”
Another account suggests that the department’s line is inaccurate. Witness Camille Johnson told WPIX-TV that “he was running for his life, telling the cops, ‘Stop.’” She added that the police “really are, seriously, walking around, shooting little kids.”
And another witness, only going by Vanessa, said that Gray was on the ground, holding his side and saying, “‘Please don’t let me die.’” She alleged that the officers replied, “’Stay down, or we’ll shoot you again.’”
The officers’ account is that Gray adjusted his belt “suspiciously” and procured a .357 caliber revolver, which they allege he aimed at them. The cops fired 11 shots at him, because obviously one wouldn’t have been enough to disarm him, assuming he was armed to begin with.
And that’s the one version of events that’s getting the most coverage.
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