Teen Shot by New York Police Triggers Concerns of Police Brutality

A New York family grieves the death of an 18-year-old family member who was shot inside his Bronx home by police on February 2. The tragic shooting has prompted some mourners to leave signs calling for an end to police brutality in New York on the sidewalk outside the home of the victim.

The fatal shooting occurred when police chased the teen into his home and shot him in his bathroom after mistakenly believing the teen had a gun - with his grandmother and 6-year-old brother standing nearby.

Police Commission Raymond Kelly has ordered a review of the training and tactics used by the street narcotics division - the police division involved in the shooting - in order to determine if their training and tactics are sufficient. However, training is only one aspect prompting outcry, as the family of the teen is also concerned with how they have been treated. For example, the grandmother of the teen, who was witness to the event, claims she was held by police for seven hours following the shooting. In addition, the mother of the teen claims she only discovered her son was killed after she over-heard police conversations after arriving at the precinct - no one told her directly.

It has been suggested that the victim was attempting to flush away drugs in the bathroom - a bag of marijuana was found in the toilet following the shooting - but death is a large price to pay for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

This shooting is one of three recent altercations in which suspects were fatally shot by police. In one of the shootings, an off-duty detective shot a 17-year-old after the teen and another suspect struck the officer with a cane and attempted to rob the detective, according to police. In an earlier shooting on Jan. 26, another off-duty police officer fatally shot a carjacking suspect in Brooklyn.

Source: "NY community rallies for teen shot by police," Associated Press, Feb. 13, 2012

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