Last Saturday sixteen year old Kimani Gray was shot seven times (at least three times in the back) by two police officers in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Although the police report recovering a .38 caliber pistol from the scene, at least one eyewitness has claimed Kimani was unarmed. In the days since the shooting, community residents and activists from throughout the city have been demonstrating in East Flatbush. The community is outraged at this latest episode of police shootings which target young African American men. Many, for example, still remember the incident involving Ramarley Graham – the young unarmed man who was gunned down by police officers in the Bronx last year.
(photo via twitter)
The unrest in East Flatbush is a direct result of the long history of police violence towards minorities, the poor and working class. The New York City Police Department continues to view these communities as occupied “war zones” and the residents as potential enemy combatants. With an unemployment rate that stands at 75 percent among young black males, the residents of these communities are, at best, treated as second-class citizens.
The NYC Local of the Socialist Party USA views the current policies of New York City’s administration and police department, such as the notoriously racist stop-and-frisk program, as instrumental in perpetuating racism, violence, and poverty. We stand in solidarity with the community in East Flatbush in their sorrow and fully support their protest of the death of 16 year old Kimani Grey at the hands of the NYPD. This continued racist targeting of youth of color must end.