Brooklyn Culture Jam Radio: the Kimani Gray case

Kimani Gray–shot by NYPD officers, his life besmirched by a police attempt to portray him as a gang member.

For those of you who follow this space, you might know that I didn’t do my radio show last week due to the crappy weather. Apologies for those of you who depend on my show.

But what a difference seven days make. It wasn’t snowing this week, so this week, I spoke to Atiq Zabinski and Kelly Stuart. They are working on a documentary entitled Defended in The Streets on the life and death of 16 year old Kimani Gray, who was shot and killed by NYPD officers. The shooting itself was under suspicious circumstances (which we discuss). But we also discuss what happened after Kimani’s death –an attempt to portray him in the media as a gang member and troublemaker. At the same time, neighborhood people whose stories diverge from the official story were threatened with reprisal. We discussed the numerous police shootings (both in NY and nationwide) of young men of color.  The families of young men are grieving forever over these incidents. At the same time, there’s a practical issue at work–New York has paid out almost half a billion dollars in settlements for police misconduct over the past five years. 

And changing the mayor doesn’t seem to change the policy–Atiq dismissed the difference as ‘same old, same old’. The question seems to be what it will take for these sorts of shootings to stop being commonplace. 

It’s a worthwhile half-hour. Give it a listen as we talk about the politics of police shootings, Broken Windows, and Stop and Frisk–and justice for Kimani Gray.

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