Councilman pleads with ‘outsiders’ to keep protest peaceful

kimani gray memorial
A shrine to Kimani Gray, the East Flatbush 16-year-old shot by police on Saturday night, has been set up at the corner of 55th Street and Church Avenue in Brooklyn. (Credit: Danielle Tcholakian.)

Following a third night of unrest during what was meant to be a vigil for 16-year-old Kimani Gray, shot by cops last weekend after reportedly pointing a .38 caliber gun at them, local City Councilman Jumaane Williams held another press conference Thursday afternoon with other community leaders, asking the public to respect the wishes of Gray’s family and maintain peaceful protests and marches, but abstain from further violence.

After repeated calls via Twitter at the height of last night’s violence for outsiders to leave the community alone, Councilman Jumaane Williams again requested that “outsiders” abstain from rallying youth to action without proper training and strategy, but said that he believes those outsiders are well-intentioned, and welcomed them.

“I think they’re concerned and want to help,” Williams said. “I just want to make sure that our young people’s anger is channeled productively.”

“We want you, but be constructive; don’t endanger our kids,” he added.

Williams refused to identify who he sees as “outsiders,” asserting that doing so would be counterproductive. He also asked that the community withhold comment on either side until a thorough investigation has been completed.

The sisters of Shantal Davis, an unarmed woman killed by police last June, spoke as well, urging the community to attend meetings they hold on Monday at 39th Street and Church Avenue.

Other speakers mentioned Williams’ efforts to find a location in the neighborhood to establish a community center.

Gray’s father stood by Councilman Williams, but chose not to speak. Speaking on his behalf, Williams told the crowd the elder Gray was “not happy with the violence occurring,” but wanted peaceful, organized marches and protests.

A man who identified himself as a former member of the Bloods gang said he came from “the same thing Kimani came from.”

He called the police murderers, noting that Gray was shot three times in the back.

According to the autopsy report, Gray was shot a total of seven times. Three shots were to his back.

The repeated theme, from clergy, community members, and elected representatives, was that action was needed, but it must be organized. Williams lamented the handful of youth who “unknowingly violated parole last night,” using this as an example of the negative consequences of inciting youth to action without properly informing them of consequences.

As the crowd disbanded, a young man began to shout at nearby police, calling them “occupiers.”

“This is Palestine!” the young man cried. “And last night was Syria!”

 

 Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.