Violence at vigil for teenager shot by police; another case of excessive force?

In protecting the citizens of New York, the officers of the NYPD often have to make quick decisions under stressful conditions. Often, the officers have to balance the safety and need to protect the public against other matters- such as civil rights.

A few weeks ago, we saw the death of an armed Brooklyn teenager, Kimani Gray, 16. After being challenged by two plainclothes officers, Mr. Gray had pulled out a gun. The two officers responded by opening fire, killing the teenager

A vigil and march held by local residents protesting police brutality turned violent. Some of the protestors separated from the main group who were marching in the vicinity of the 67th Police Precinct station house,. Venting their anger at the shooting, they threw bottles at the station house, before rampaging through the Church and Troy Avenue area, resulting in episodes of assault, looting and inflicting injuries to property and innocent bystanders. In response, riot police set up barricades. Fortunately, the disturbance calmed down quickly, with only one arrest being made.

Despite the violence and damage, there was still a degree of sympathy for the looters expressed by the peaceful marchers. The marchers felt that the young protestors were rightly angered by Kimani Gray's death. Indeed, one resident was quoted as saying that "the kids were fed up with seeing their friends shot down like dogs."

What is uncertain is whether the force and tactics used by the two plain clothes officers was proportionate and necessary? Could the incident have been resolved without the loss of life? Did the officers use appropriate measures or is this a case of police overzealousness?

The NYPD is there to serve and protect the people of New York City. Any use of excessive force, or instances of police brutality are contrary to NYPD practice and policy. Such incidents should be reported, so that appropriate action can be taken against the officers involved.

If you or loved one has been a victim of a civil rights violation, consult the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel. For more than twenty-five years, Nussin S. Fogel has prosecuted civil rights cases and has established a successful track record against the NYPD. For a free consultation, call toll free at (800) 734-9338 to learn your rights.

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