A large crowd gathered in Brooklyn, New York Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil, honoring 16-year-old Kimani Gray, who was shot and killed Saturday night by New York City police. Reports say part of the group broke away from the vigil and walked toward a police station, and the situation became more unruly.
Some young people began heckling police officers and others threw bottles at them, says the Associated Press, while those in charge of the vigil vainly tried to calm them down. Video footage from the scene shows a woman being handcuffed and officers on horseback on the street. The AP says 18 people were arrested.
Gray was killed late Saturday night after police say he behaved suspiciously when plain clothes officers came near him. Officers say the teenager pointed a gun toward them and they opened fire. The New York Times reports a loaded handgun was recovered at the shooting scene, although Gray didn't fire it. Gray was African American; the officers involved are Hispanic and African American.
There's been angry reaction, including from Gray's sister Mahnefah and others who say her brother was not known to carry a gun. A Facebook page calling for "justice for Kimani Gray" is filled with furious postings over police tactics in New York City communities.
An earlier vigil for Gray was held Monday evening, but that also turned raucous, after a small group of people threw bottles at a police precinct station, overturning garbage cans and vandalizing a food cart. They looted a Rite Aid store and two people were hurt, one with a gash to the head, says the Times.
Following last night's unrest, the AP says Gray's parents chose not to speak publicly because their message was "clouded" while violence continued. "It's a tough time for the community," said the spokesman, Rev. Gilford Monrose. "But the family and myself do not condone the violence."
The additional clashes came after the New York City medical examiner released Gray's autopsy results. He was shot seven times and three of those shots were in the back side of his body. The Wall Street Journal says the ME is still trying to determine which of the shots killed him. It may be difficult to tell which bullets struck him first or which direction he was facing when he was shot.