Video: DC police fatally shoot 18-year-old who brandished gun
The incident triggered protests in the nation’s capital, with demonstrators suggesting the shooting was an example of systemic racism
By Nelson Oliveira
New York Daily News
WASHINGTON — Police on Thursday released body-cam footage of a Washington, D.C. officer fatally shooting a suspect a day earlier, saying the 18-year-old man brandished a firearm while running from cops.
The incident triggered immediate protests in the nation’s capital, with demonstrators suggesting the shooting was another example of systemic racism and police brutality against minorities.
Deon Kay, who was Black, died at a hospital Wednesday after being shot in the chest outside a housing complex in the city’s Southeast neighborhood.
Uniformed patrol officers were investigating a report of a man with a gun just before 4 p.m. when they found Kay and other individuals surrounding a vehicle, the city’s Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement. The teen fled from the officers and brandished a weapon during a foot pursuit, leading one of the cops to open fire, according to the agency and newly released video.
Police said in a “community briefing video” that a gun can be seen in Kay’s hand when the body-cam footage is viewed in slow motion. A still from the video shows that Kay did have an object in his right hand.]
The weapon was found 98 feet from the scene, authorities said, because Kay reportedly threw it into the air before getting shot.
The officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Their names have not been released.
Protesters on Thursday marched through the streets of the capital to demand accountability in the shooting. Members of Sunrise Movement DC chapter gathered outside Mayor Muriel Bowser’s home and chanted, “No justice, no peace.”
The group wants Bowser to fire Police Chief Peter Newsham and defund his department.
“I’m a Black person living in this city. I’m tired of seeing people like me get murdered,” one protester told NBC4 Washington. “I’m tired of the mayor not being accountable for it. I’m tired of, like, Peter Newsham and his gang of killer cops that are terrorizing the city.”
The young man lived with his mother, Natasha Kay, about a half-mile from where he was shot.
“They took my baby. They just took my baby from me,” she told The Washington Post on Wednesday. “I need my son back. I want my son back.”
During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Newsham described him as “a validated gang member” who was known to the police and said he likely “fell through multiple safety nets” before the fatal incident.
“This is a tragedy,” the chief said.
Bowser, who also addressed the incident Thursday, offered her condolences to Kay’s mother and their family.
“We are very sorry for her loss,” the mayor told reporters.
Authorities said a second suspect who fled the scene with Kay is still at large.
The video shows the officer who fired the shot scrambling the find the firearm Kay allegedly threw in a grassy area near the scene while several cops provided first aid to the man. At one point, the officer was heard asking a colleague, “Is he in bad shape?”
The second cop could be heard telling him not to “say anything to anyone” and to sit down.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Metro Police Department’s Use of Force Board are both investigating the officer’s actions.
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