Days after a Durham teen died while in police custody, his family led a protest Friday night through the streets, carrying signs that said “Durham needs a new police chief.”
The sister of Jesus Huerta, 17, who died in the back of a police cruiser Tuesday morning, was among the organizers of Friday’s march.
“The silence from Police Chief Lopez was an insult," organizers wrote on the Facebook page marking the event.
According to Durham police, some of those demonstrating late Friday broke windows at the station’s headquarters in downtown Durham. No injuries were reported.
Police have not said how Huerta died, but his family members say investigators told them he had a gunshot to the head.
On Friday, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez issued a statement without saying much, fanning the aggravation the family feels, Evelin Huerta said.
“At this point in time, the words he is using to try to make us feel better doesn’t really matter," she said. "All we need is clarity.”
Officer Samuel Duncan was transporting Huerta, to police headquarters on West Chapel Hill Street. In radio communication, Duncan described heading “shots fired.” He jumped from the moving car, and the patrol car rolled into a van and came to rest with Huerta in the back seat.
An eyewitness recorded cellphone video of a Santa Ana police officer shoot and kill an unarmed 22-year-old homeless man at a shopping center earlier last week.
The witness, who wished to remain unidentified, was standing in the parking lot of the Harbor Place Shopping Center on South Harbor Boulevard around 3 p.m. Tuesday when he said he filmed a confrontation in front of Jugo’s La Tropicana between an officer, later identified as a 13-year veteran, and victim Hans Kevin Arellano.
“She exited her patrol car, gun drawn, and asked the gentlemen to get on the ground. The gentlemen didn’t get on the ground, he was still inside the restaurant. She asked again. The man then exited the restaurant, and as he was exiting the restaurant, he said, ‘What are you gonna do, b—-?’ About a second later, she shot him in the chest,” he said.
Arellano’s relatives were horrified when they viewed the video and believe the officer shouldn’t have used lethal force.
“I believe they should have Tased him, hit him with a baton, anything, but not shot him to kill him,” said Arellano’s niece, Yenniffer Moreno.
At a press conference Wednesday, Santa Ana interim Police Chief Carlos Rojas said Arellano, a convicted burglar, was “combative” when he initially got into altercations with various people in a McDonald’s parking lot.
When authorities arrived to the scene, Arellano ran to nearby juice bar, where the shooting unfolded.
“It was a confrontation. It wasn’t a casual conversation,” Rojas said.
According to several reports coming out of Philadelphia, a former “hero cop” who was once rewarded for his bravery in the line of duty with a seat next First Lady Michelle Obama during a presidential speech is being held on $60 million bail (apparently one of the highest in Philadelphia history) for allegedly raping two women at gunpoint, among some other pretty terrible things.
Richard DeCoatsworth, a 27-year-old former police officer who attended President Obama’s first congressional address in 2009, has been charged with more than 32 crimes in three cases, including a domestic violence incident back on May 9 when he allegedly assaulted his live-in girlfriend. The most recent reports of stomach-churning violence from the ex-cop, however, claim that DeCoatsworth forced two women to take drugs and perform sexual acts on him.
NBC10’s account of DeCoatsworth’s misdeeds is fairly brutal, so be prepared:
A source tells NBC10 former officer Richard DeCoatsworth, 27, met one of the women at a bar on North Front Street two weeks ago, then forced her into prostitution at a Days Inn hotel along Roosevelt Boulevard.
Between 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday evening, DeCoatsworth went to the woman’s home along North Howard Street in the Fishtown-Kensington.
Once he arrived, DeCoatsworth forced that woman and a second woman, both in their 20s, to use drugs and perform oral sex on him at gunpoint, according to the source. The alleged victims reported the assault Friday only after DeCoatsworth went home, according to police.
Police raided DeCoatsworth’s house on the 2700 block of Salmon Street in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. He was charged with rape, sexual assault, terroristic threats and related offenses. Police also confiscated drugs and guns from the home, according to a source. No word yet on what kind of drugs were removed from the home.
Bail has been set at $25 million for each of the victims in the rape cases. Another $10 million in bail was added for the May 9 domestic abuse, bringing DeCoatsworth’s grand bail total to a staggering $60 million, reportedly one of the largest in the long, sordid history of Philadelphia crime.
News of DeCoatsworth’s arrest didn’t come as a surprise to at least one of his neighbors, who, on the condition of anonymity, described him to NBC10 as “a thorn in the side of the neighborhood for so long.” Since his 2007 hero-making incident when (as a rookie officer) he chased after a suspect who shot him in the face, DeCoatsworth has had what one might charitably call a history of violence: in April 2009, his gun reportedly “went off” while he was assaulted trying to disperse a crowd, killing the suspect who assaulted him, and in September 2009, after stopping a motorcyclist, DeCoastworth and a fellow officer shot and wounded a second man who jumped on the motorcycle and allegedly drove at them (local witnesses claimed that the two suspects did nothing wrong).
In 2011, Internal Affairs investigated an alleged physical confrontation between DeCoatsworth and another officer. Later that year, DeCoatsworth retired from the police force on disability.
Photo Caption: The children of Kenny Lazo march in the frontline to demand justice for their father.
On April 13, 2008, Kenny was pulled over by Suffolk County police in NY. The police have failed to explain why Kenny was stopped.
While the cops claim that Kenny tried to elbow one of the cops and, more unbelievably, that he tried to get a gun, what we know for sure is that Kenny was handcuffed, forced down on the ground, beaten and choked with flashlights. He suffered from blunt impact to the head, face, torso, arms, with multiple abrasions, contusions and lacerations of the face and scalp. He went into cardiac arrest. He was then brought to the 3rd precinct with NO medical attention.
As Kenny was taking his last breath lying on the precinct floor, an eyewitness heard the officers involved in beating him joking and proudly demonstrating in the front lobby how they did it. An hour after being brought to the 3rd precinct, police decided to finally call for an EMT. Emergency assistance found Kenny lying DEAD on the floor wearing nothing but his boxers.
It took several months for the autopsy report to come out. The Suffolk County coroner ruled Kenny’s death as a HOMICIDE as a result of his injuries at the hands of our own police department, but refused to admit that the cops involved were culpable.
Despite calling Kimani’s death “justified”, his office attempted to call Carol Gray multiple times to offer condolences, forcing her to change her number.
“I give eulogies at cops’ funerals," Bloomberg said. "I call parents when their kids are killed. You know, sometimes I don’t get to them. There’s this 16-year-old. I’ve tried, and the woman, the mother, is not taking any calls, changed her phone number so I can’t, but I did reach out.”
An attorney representing Gray’s mother dismissed the mayor’s attempts as mere publicity stunts.
“We weren’t interested in the photo op," Kenneth J. Montgomery said. "In the totem pole of important things and important emotions, that would come somewhere at the bottom.”
Hundreds Protest Against NYPD Killing In Brooklyn Despite Heavy Police Presence
200+ came out today to protest the NYPD killing of Kimani Gray.
Police outnumbered the protest 3 to 1 with officers on foot with riot gear (6th photo), on rooftops (2nd photo), on ‘interceptors’ (last photo) and on horses (7th photo) and at least two officers were stationed on each corner in a 10 block radius.
Officers from the “Disorder Control Unit" was deployed to suppress the march which was heading towards the 67th precinct to demand justice. The Disorder Control Unit are meant to police riots and civil unrest in the NYC area.
In 2011, a document was posted online by Occupiers detailing the purpose of the DCU. The first point on the document says officers must “Always have disorder control equipment, including helmet and baton, ready for immediate use." and maintain "A strong military appearance,”
At approx. 5:30, police made their first arrest. Officers violently charged into the crowd who were on the sidewalk and arrested a random person (5th photo).
About 20 minutes later, an officer on a scooter targeted a live streamer by driving into him and ripping his charger off of his equipment, killing the stream. The battery fell behind police line and officers did not allow him to retrieve it for about 10 minutes.
The NYPD were seen carrying a LRAD-X (3rd photo), a ‘non-lethal’ weapon which can by used to emit harmful and painful sounds. It is used as a crowd control weapon but has proven to cause permanent ear damage and even deafness.
Over 1,000 people attended a wake for 16-year-old Kimani Gray over a period of six hours on Friday evening in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatlands, just shy of two weeks after the teenager was fatally shot by two NYPD officers. Attendees included City Council members Jumaane Williams, who represents Kimani’s district, and Charles Barron as well as City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu. They joined family members, friends, classmates, and those who didn’t know “Kiki,” but wanted to show their support.
Kimani was hit by seven bullets, three of them in the back, by two plainclothes NYPD officers on March 9th in East Flatbush. The circumstances of his death remain unclear, as the police department’s version of events differs greatly from an eyewitness’s account. Community members and activists from throughout New York City have held several vigils since the shooting, some of which have turned chaotic, including the trashing of a Rite Aid on one night, and another night that resulted in 46 arrests.
The NYPD claims the two officers repeatedly told Kimani to freeze, after which he pointed a gun at them. They then fired 11 shots, seven of which hit the teenager. An eyewitness told the New York Daily News, however, that Kimani hadn’t pointed a gun at the officers, and later told the Village Voice that one of the police officers stood over Kimani and shot him when he was on the ground.
The media was not allowed inside Caribe Funeral Parlor, where the wake was held, and photographs were prohibited inside the building. But several mourners described Kimani, whose family decided to have an open casket, as looking “peaceful.”
“He looked peaceful, but not ready to go," said Will, a fitness trainer who had been inside for the wake. He described the scene as thick with emotion as a montage of home movies of Kimani growing up played on a screen. He also said that he and other members of the community were going to continue to plan events to honor Kimani’s memory. "We’re not gonna stop until justice prevails.”
Independent journalist Ryan Devereaux interviewed 39-year-old Tishana King, the only known eyewitness to the police killing of 16-year-old Kimani Gray in East Flatbush last weekend, revealing new and disturbing details about Gray’s last moments of life.
King, who witnessed the entire encounter from her third story bedroom window, told the New York Daily News last week that she was “certain [Gray] didn’t have anything in his hands” when he was shot, casting doubt on police claims that Gray pointed a revolver at the officers, forcing them to open fire. She also said Gray was “backing up” when “The cop took out his gun and started firing.”
In her extended interview with Devereaux (whose coverage of Gray’s shooting and protests for the Village Voice is a must read), King elaborates on what she witnessed that night.
She says that one of the officers who shot Gray continued to shoot while the teen was on the ground. According to the state’s autopsy report, Gray was shot seven times (three times in the back), so this is completely plausible.
King also reaffirmed her earlier statement that Gray never pointed a gun at the police, saying, ”I can’t say if they had one on them or not, but no one had a gun pointing at the cops.”
The most horrific aspect of the interview is King’s description of Gray crying in pain as he lay on the ground begging for his life:
After the gunfire subsided, King claims the officer who “did the most shooting” put his hands on his head “like, ‘Oh my God.’” She describes him as “the main shooter.”
“That’s the one I was focused on,” she explained. “He just kept shooting while [Gray] was on the ground.” When asked how close the officer was when he was shooting Gray, King said, “right over him.”
“I thought he was dead,” King said. That’s when Gray began to scream. “‘Help me. Help me. My stomach is burning. Help me. They shot me,’” she said the teen cried out. Friends have said Gray was approximately 5’6″ and weighed at most about 100 pounds. King described him as “frail” and said she was surprised he was not killed instantly. “I didn’t think anybody could take those amount of bullets,” she added.
Outraged by what she saw, King shouted out of her window at the police. The shooting officer responded by threatening to shoot her:
“I just remember screaming out the window ‘Why?! Why so much?!” King recalled. She claims the “main shooter”‘s partner–”with the short haircut”–responded.
“He started waving his gun up at our windows, myself and my neighbor. ‘Get your F-ing head out the window before I shoot you.’” King said she and her neighbor “jumped back.”
“I told the authorities that,” she said. “You threatened our lives and we didn’t even do anything.”
The officers, identified as Sgt. Mourad Mourad, 30, and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, 26, have been placed on desk duty until the investigation into Gray’s death is complete.
According to court records, both have been accused of civil rights violations in five federal lawsuits, costing the city $215,000 in settlements.
“In each case, Mourad and Cordova attempted to cover up their misconduct by falsifying and fabricating evidence,” the lawyer who filed four of the five lawsuits told the New York Daily News.
Sgt. Mourad is accused in one of the lawsuits of an illegal stop and frisk that landed an innocent man in Rikers Island for four months. Another complaint alleges that Mourad and others pulled a man’s pants and underwear down during a frisk.
Allegations against Officer Cordova include handcuffing a driver by shoving him facedown into a puddle during a car stop and punching a man in the face during an illegal stop, resulting in three stitches.
Furthermore, both officers have been awarded for their involvement in past non-fatal shootings.
One week before he shot Palestinian motorist Ziad Jilani in the head at point blank range, Israeli border policeman Maxim Vinogradov expressed on Facebook his wish to kill Arabs and Turks. And on his profile on another social media site, Vinogradov identifies himself as belonging to the extreme right, expresses his love for violence, names “undocumented Arab workers” as his favorite sport, his hobbies as “hitting and destroying things,” and for the category of favorite food, he lists “Arabs.”
The Israeli border police claim that on 11 June 2010, Jilani attempted to run them over in a terrorist attack in the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood of Jerusalem, and, fearing for their lives, they shot to kill in accordance with police procedures. The Israeli state prosecutor agreed with police claims and refused to press charges against Vinogradov and Police Superintendent Shadi Har al-Din, both of whom admitted to shooting Jilani. Jilani’s family is now pursuing justice for Ziad in Israel’s highest court.
“If it was a terrorist attack, why would Ziad bump into the group of police officers at such a slow speed? Not a single police officer spent one night in the hospital because of their injuries. It was not even a major accident,” said Bilal Jilani, Ziad’s brother.
“They know they [the border police] were wrong, because if my husband had been a terrorist, the government of Israel would have demolished my house, and they wouldn’t be giving me a widow’s pension,” Moira Jilani, Ziad’s wife, said. But the question, of course, is whether the officers acted properly based on information they had at the time, or if there was wrongdoing sufficient to press criminal charges.
The NYPD sergeant and cop involved in the fatal shooting of Brooklyn 16-year-old Kimani Gray have been named in five federal lawsuits — which cost the city a total of $215,000 in settlements, court records show.
Sgt. Mourad Mourad racked up three suits while he was a plainclothes cop on Staten Island, and Officer Jovaniel Cordova racked up two at Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct — all alleging various civil rights violations including illegal stop and search and false arrest.
Prosecutors later dismissed all but one of the arrests against the six plaintiffs, and the criminal cases were sealed.
Mourad and Cordova had been placed on desk duty while the NYPD and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the March 9 shooting in East Flatbush that has since sparked ‘riots’. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said Gray was shot after he pointed a .38-caliber revolver at the sergeant and cop, who had approached a group of youths on the street.
A woman who told the Daily News she witnessed the shooting from her apartment window said Gray did not have a gun in his hand. She previously told Internal Affairs investigators she couldn’t see what the kids were doing “from the angle I was at.” (which was a distance away from where he was shot).
The settlements in the prior cases ranged from $20,000 to $92,500, with no admission of wrongdoing by the city.
“Our clients’ interactions with Sgt. Mourad and Officer Cordova expose a disturbing pattern of unconstitutional and aggressive stop-and-frisk practices,” said lawyer Brett Klein, who filed four of the five suits.
“In each case, Mourad and Cordova attempted to cover up their misconduct by falsifying and fabricating evidence.”
The suits are:
Derek Franks received a $92,500 settlement for a suit against Mourad and other unidentified cops, alleging he was illegally stopped and frisked on May 7, 2007. He spent four months in Rikers Island until charges were dropped.
Andre Maraj and Dary Harville each received $22,500 settlements, which alleged they were falsely arrested by Mourad and others. Harville claimed he was “slammed” into a car.
Peter Owusu received $22,500 for the “emotional distress” he suffered as a result of a car stop and arrest by Cordova. Owusu claims he was placed facedown in a puddle and handcuffed. He later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Steve Morency got $35,000 after accusing Cordova of an illegal stop inside an E. 17th St. building. Morency claimed he was punched in the face and needed three stitches to close a cut above his eye.
Jontel Sebbern received $20,000 stemming from his arrest after a car stop. He was ordered out of the car by Mourad and others, who frisked him and pulled his pants and underwear.
“You can take me to the precinct but you’re not going in my underwear here,” Sebbern told the cops, says the complaint.
Editors Note: Today, Saturday March 16th, makes one week since Kimani was killed. There will be another protest at 55th street and Church ave. at 7pm. We’re expecting a large turnout, come by if you can.
This video was taken during yesterday’s protest against the killing of Kimani Gray and shows the events that led to the supposed riot.
After a candlelight vigil, protesters take the streets and begin marching. Police arrive and begin harassing a young protester. They become upset when an officer lays his hands on them and begins to yell but is careful not to touch the officer, who seems was trying to start a conflict. Another officer then grabs her from behind, spins her and pushes her towards another officer. A protester could be heard screaming “Don’t shoot" at the police.
After the harassment, some protesters start to set street barricades to block NYPD cruisers and throw bottles at the officers who were trying to intimidate them. Protesters are then seen walking pass garbage and boxes of fruits on the sidewalk after a Rite Aid was trashed.
The protesters arrive at the 67th precinct, the same precinct who’s officers killed Shantel Davis last year, only to be blocked off by officers from 3 other precincts and separated into several smaller groups on the sidewalk. Police then try to shine a fashlight at the camera to disrupt the video. This is a common tactic practiced by the NYPD and other law enforcement during protests.
At the end of the video, 7 riot police enter a building while protesters ask them if they have a warrant.
16 year old Kimani “Kiki” Gray was shot 11 times on Saturday by two undercover police officers. Kimani, who begged for his life, told the police “Please don’t let me die," to which they responded "Stay down, or we’ll shoot you again.”
The police say Kimani was armed but witnesses who attended yesterdays protest say the undercover officers hopped into their car after shooting Kimani and “drove off”, which is definitely against protocol and extremely suspicious to say the least.
Reblog this post to spread the news and if you’re in NYC and will be attending today’s protest, don’t forget to RSVP to the event page.
16 year old Kimani “Kiki” Gray was fatally shot by a pair of plain-clothes cops in Brooklyn late Saturday after he supposedly pointed a gun at them, police said.
Gray was hanging out in front of a home on E. 52nd St. near Tilden Ave. in East Flatbush with five other young men, friends and siblings, shortly before midnight. After leaving his friends, Kiki “adjusted his waistband”. The undercover officers approached him and Gray unveiled a revolver. Both cops shot Kimani multiple times.
He was rushed to nearby Kings County Hospital, where he died.
Gray’s mother, Carol Gray, rushed to the hospital after learning her son was shot, and was fainted and hospitalized herself after learning he died, relatives said.
A pair of brothers who said they were hanging out with Gray moments before the shooting told The Daily News they didn’t realize Gray was armed.
“The cops, they just jumped out of the car so fast," said Devonte Brown, 16. “They started shooting him and he went down. He was bleeding, holding his side, screaming, ‘Stop, stop!’”
“We were just hanging out,” added Brown’s brother, Akeem Brown, 15. “We didn’t know he had a gun.”