Kelly: NYPD cops who shot teen followed guidelines
The NYPD officers who shot a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy to death Saturday appear to have followed guidelines for the use of deadly force, Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday following a night of protests and vandalism in the East Flatbush neighborhood where the teenager was shot.
"There is nothing to indicate this shooting, at this time, was outside the guidelines," Kelly told reporters after a City Council budget hearing.
Kelly's comments came a day after what started as a peaceful evening vigil for shooting victim Kimani Gray got out of control. An angry smaller group splintered off, knocked over garbage cans and vandalized vehicles and businesses.
The group, which witnesses said was mostly teenagers, vandalized a Rite Aid pharmacy, and assaulted a customer who was trying to prevent them from taking a store cash register, Kelly said.
Earlier, some in the splinter group grabbed fruit from merchant stands and threw it at police, Kelly told reporters after a sometimes contentious Council hearing. Kelly and City Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) clashed over what Williams said was community disaffection with the NYPD.
"The trust is tremendously eroded, that is fact that is lost on you and lost on the mayor," Williams told Kelly.
Kelly noted that at least three witnesses heard the officers yell "Don't move" and "Freeze" before they fired at Gray, who was hit 11 times. A .38-caliber handgun was found at the scene, Kelly said. The two officers who shot Gray have been placed on administrative duty.
Tuesday, a heavy police presence continued in the East Flatbush neighborhood that was vandalized, with a command post at Church and Albany avenues. Officers, some on foot, others in cars and vans, were set up at intersections throughout the neighborhood.
Based on video surveillance, Kelly said he expected detectives to make arrests in connection with the fracas at the pharmacy, which he characterized as the action of a "disorderly group" that did not amount to a riot. The demonstration outside the 67th Precinct, while raucous, was peaceful, noted Kelly.
Still, the action in the pharmacy area disturbed many.
"It was just chaos -- a lot of garbage being thrown around," said Ramon Cruz, 25, of Brooklyn, a manager of the Associated Supermarket at 4121 Church Ave., across from the pharmacy.