One year after police killing: ‘Justice for Kimani Gray’

Brooklyn, N.Y. — Close to 200 people participated in a March 9 vigil, march and rally in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, N.Y., to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of Kimani “Kiki” Gray, a 16-year-old Black male who was fatally shot 11 times by two plainclothes officers as he lay on the ground.

Kimani, widely known as “Kiki,” was killed on March 9, 2013, by Sgt. Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, who together have been involved in five federal lawsuits over the last several years costing a total of $215,000 in settlements.

Kimani’s shooting sparked a week of militant protests led by his friends, family and community residents, exposing the rampant police terror and occupation of East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Starting with a 4 p.m. vigil at a local church, over 100 people listened to various speakers, including Kimani’s teacher and school principal. The vigil was then followed by a spirited march and rally that swelled in size at the corner of 55th Street and Church Avenue, where Kimani was killed. Still devastated by the lost of her child, Carol Gray leaned on her family members and Black elected officials Jumaane Williams and Charles Barron for support during the march.

Carol Gray told the crowd that not only is she still fighting to bring the cops who killed her son to justice, but also to stop the vicious slander against her child in the media. While community members, many of whom wore sweatshirts with Kiki’s picture on it, lit candles, and released balloons and doves in his memory, Carol Gray talked about the fact that her family never received an apology from the New York City Police Department for the murder of her unarmed, 16-year-old son, and that she is outraged by the constant use of terms like “criminal” and “gang member” used by the media to describe Kimani. “Why do they never use terms like ‘son,’ ‘student,’ ‘nephew’ or ‘friend’ in the media?” Carol Gray then asked the crowd to form a massive circle in the busy intersection of Church Avenue and 55th Street, which blocked traffic for close to 20 minutes. Throughout the march and rally, one of the main chants of the day was “Whose streets? Kiki’s streets!”