New York — On Aug. 24, two New York police officers turned what by all accounts was a targeted killing by a laid-off fashion industry worker of his ex-boss into a mass shooting when they opened fire on one of the most crowded streets in the city. They shot nine people in addition to killing Jeffrey Johnson, the alleged shooter.
Video of the incident appears to show Johnson pointing a gun at the police after they ordered him to stop. The police opened fire, discharging 14 rounds in front of the Empire State Building during the morning rush hour. Many of the rounds hit pedestrians, injuring nine.
One of the victims, Robert Asika, was shot in the elbow. He said the police were “shooting randomly.” Asika was wounded during his first week at a new job (selling bus tour tickets), which he recently found after a year of looking for work. (The Guardian, Aug. 25)
This incident comes barely two weeks after New York City police shot Darius Kennedy 12 times in Times Square, although he was armed with only a knife and completely surrounded by police.
After the New York Police Department officially admitted on Aug. 25 that all nine pedestrians were injured by police, not by Johnson, the story virtually disappeared from major corporate media outlets in New York City.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly declared the shootings “justified,” and since then the story has virtually disappeared. There have been no editorials calling for investigations. Nor any analysis of how so many people were hurt when the police were ostensibly aiming at one target only a few steps away from them.
Just as with the Kennedy case, the official NYPD position has gone virtually unquestioned by the capitalist media, despite the shocking number of casualties left in the wake of the lastest police shooting.