Amid renewed calls for an investigation of the NYPD, hundreds of mourners joined a grieving family at a Brooklyn church Saturday for the funeral of Kimani Gray, the 16-year-old from East Flatbush shot dead by police earlier this month.At St. Catherine of Genoa Roman Catholic Church, near where the teen lived and died, a group of young men carried in his silver-and-black coffin shortly before 9:30 a.m. A steady stream of mourners entered the small gray-painted brick church.
After the nearly two-hour service, Gray was buried in Cypress Hills Cemetery in Queens.
Margaret Hudson, a sister-in-law of Kimani Gray's mother, said the funeral was emotional for all in attendance. "The mother took it too hard, real bad," Hudson said. "The whole family is."
Kimani Gray's aunt, Brenda Nunes, said his death left her devastated. "I didn't sleep for three nights," she said.
City Councilman Mathieu Eugene, who attended the funeral, said of the shooting: "It is our duty as a city, as a society, to work together to prevent this situation from happening again."Gray's mother, Carol, arrived at the church in a black van, accompanied by City Councilman Charles Barron -- who helped her inside -- along with other family members.
Many teens in attendance wore hooded sweatshirts emblazoned with messages such as "Justice for Kimani" and photos of the deceased youth.
In the middle of the funeral, rescuers carried out a woman on a stretcher after, witnesses said, she became ill. She was not immediately identified.
Kimani Gray was killed March 9 after he allegedly pulled a gun on two plainclothes officers on anti-crime patrol, officials said. NYPD officers said Gray was in a group that had been told to disperse, but Gray was seen breaking away, adjusting his waistband and acting in a suspicious manner.Witnesses heard officers tell Gray to show his hands before he allegedly pointed a handgun at them, officials said. A loaded .38-caliber revolver was recovered at the scene.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said early indications were that the two officers followed police procedure on the use of deadly force.
After Gray's death, demonstrations erupted in the community. Carol Gray disavowed the violence, and local politicians said outsiders had caused trouble. The clamor then abated.Friday, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn district attorney's office said the investigation into the shooting was ongoing.
Near the church Saturday, security guards and police officers watched mourners. Reporters were not allowed inside. No violence was reported.
A protest billed as a "Justice for Kimani" march by organizers is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Sunday at Church Avenue and East 55th Street in East Flatbush. Protesters are expected to march to the 67th Precinct.
With Igor Kossov