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Kimani Gray's Death: Racism or Delinquency?

Updated on March 15, 2013

Kimani Gray's Death Was Labeled as Racism, but I Disagree

Three months after America was outraged that a teen boy shot and killed 20 young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, another teen boy allegedly pointed a gun at two police officers with the intent to kill.

Kimani Gray, 16, was shot and killed seven times by two New York police officers in East Flatbush, Brooklyn after he pointed a gun at them. Instead of labelling this teen boy as a juvenile delinquent who should not have a gun, residents have responded with anger.

They are angry because they claim the shooting was racially motivated and because some of the bullets hit the rear part of Gray's body: his rear left shoulder and the back of his thighs. However, two witnesses to the shooting said that the police officers told Gray, Don't move" and another witness said that they told Gray to "freeze."

However, Gray did not follow their orders and was shot seven times.

While a vigil was held, some residents rioted and even tried to destroy a Rite Aid store. Their actions have led to at least 46 arrests.

This scenario is not unique: a black person gets shot and killed by police and people say it is racism. New York has had its moments of police officers killing unarmed men like Sean Bell, but not every shooting death by a police officer is racism, esp. since the majority of police officers are white.

I lived in New York and I know that it is safe, but I have also never lived anywhere that was unsafe and made me feel like I needed to carry a gun. Nonetheless, the civil rights movement did not happen so people can say that everything is racism. As a black person, this upsets me because a black athlete can get caught doing steroids and get punished, but people will still claim racism.

In the shooting death of Kimani Gray, racism is being used as an excuse for poor parenting. Why didn't Gray's parents teach him about respecting the law and obeying police officers? Why didn't they teach him not to point guns at police officers? These are the questions that need to be addressed. Maybe instead of destroying a Rite Aid store, black people can have a town hall meeting and discuss how to guide young black boys and even young boys so they do not end up dead or in jail.




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    • Sandra Remilien profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandra Remilien 

      5 years ago

      I agree that destroying the store served no purpose at all. Some people held vigils for him which was a good thing to do because of his young age, but rioting just showed that they were trying to return what they considered violence with violence and that is not a good thing.

      I believe that if Kimani Gray had stopped and think about the consequences of his actions, things could have turned out worse. Sadly, if two black officers had shot and killed Kimani Gray, a different scenario would have happened.

    • RealityTalk profile image

      RealityTalk 

      5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I think there are many things to consider when a gun is aimed at a policeman. The first thing is never aim a gun at a policeman. It is just not a smart thing to do. Unlike the average citizen, the police have a license to kill when threatened with a weapon. I think the police would shoot a white man in that situation you write about just as quickly as they would shoot a black man. I am a law abiding citizen and I do not carry a gun or any weapons, and I have witnessed first hand dreadful behavior from law enforcement. There is a mentality amongst many policeman that makes them think of the world as "them against us." This may make the police feel safer when dealing with the public, but it makes the public uneasy and forces the public to be on guard; it makes the public feel less "protected" and more cautious when interacting with the police.

      I never understood the rioting that occurs after some of these incidents takes place; that seems as nothing more than an excuse to steal or destroy; to profit with no guilt, or damage property to vent unleashed rage. It is still wrong, because usually innocents suffer as a result.

      I think all people have to learn to "get along" as Rodney King exclaimed. I feel sorry for young Kimani. I do not know why he felt it necessary to point a gun at a policeman. He never should have had the gun in the first place. You do not say why he put himself in that position. I also feel sorry for the people who only saw racism. They should have seen two police officers most likely afraid they would be shot, leaving widows and fatherless children behind.

      Maybe if the young boys who aim these guns stop and think. If the police who shoot the gun handlers they see as a threat stop and think. If the people who have an interest in the shooting stop and think. Maybe if they all stop and think before aiming the gun, before shooting the gun, and before the shooting takes place. Maybe, the shooting would never take place. Maybe the police would strike a better relationship with the public so they are more respected. And, maybe everyone else will see the right things when bad things happen.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      And I want to know how destroying a store promotes their agenda - if they feel the police were being racist how in the world does destroying a store fit into this? Even if the shooting was racially motivated destroying the store does not put an end to racism...I don't get it...

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