VIDEO: Councilman asks Kelly to visit community where vigil turned into riot
UPDATE: A law enforcement official said that the gun recovered at the scene of the Kimani Gray shooting was traced to Florida. Police do not know when or how it was brought here, but said it was not previously reported stolen. The surveillance video on the left, provided by police, comes from the RiteAid that was raided during the riot.
Gray’s first arrest was in September of last year, for stealing a car. His most recent arrest was for petit larceny, two weeks ago.
Councilman Jumaane Williams, who represents the neighborhood of East Flatbush where last night’s riot took place, released a statement condemning the “violence caused to property or to person,” but also said that the action “was not about the details of one shooting.”
“It spoke to the overwhelming frustration that people are living through day after day,” Williams said. “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.”
He urged Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to join him on a walk around his district today “to see the situation first-hand and address constituents who demand real reform.”
Kelly reportedly said at a city council meeting this morning on the public safety budget that he has been to the community numerous times.
Stefan Ringel, a spokesman for Councilman Williams, said that is untrue.
“He has been to precincts around our community, but he has not come to our community,” Ringel insisted.
Ringel added that they are still calling on Kelly to visit the community, but have not received a response.
Williams quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., saying “a riot is the language of the unheard.”
“We must channel [our anger] constructively and send a clear message to City Hall and One Police Plaza that change must come,” Williams said. “Without [change] I fear this will be a long and bloody summer ahead.”
According to Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, “Commissioner Kelly was there last night.”
Browne said Kelly meets regularly with a group called the NYPD Brooklyn Clergy Coalition, “a group of black ministers who came to the Commissioner to volunteer their assistance in combating black-on-black violence.”
Browne said members of the group “instrumental in calming things down last night.”
Jumaane Williams’ spokesman Stefan Ringel said that Browne must have been speaking of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, whose members were present during the unrest.
Metro’s original story is below.
A vigil for a 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police officers this weekend ended in a violent riot in East Flatbush Monday night, with shattered car windows, trashed stores and some local residents being assaulted.
About 200 people had gathered to mourn Kimani Gray, who was shot Saturday night after he pointed a gun at two police officers.
At about 9 p.m. on Monday, a group left the main ceremony and began ransacking local stores, according to the New York Post.
The manager of a Rite Aid told the Post that he was punched in the face and a few other people were also assaulted.
Gray’s family said the teen did not own a gun and do not believe the cops’ story about what happened. Law enforcement officials said Gray was a reputed member of the Bloods gang and fellow gang members are angry over his death.
Gray had four previous arrests, including charges of grand larceny.