5pm Thursday 3/21 – Oscar Grant Plaza
This Thursday, March 21, join the Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition and other members of the community as we hold a rally to express solidarity with the family of Kimani “Kiki” Gray, a 16-year-old murdered by the NYPD in Brooklyn. We recognize the rage in the community as this killing closely resembles so many other killings by police in Oakland, including the murder of Alan Blueford, but out of respect for Kimani’s family, we ask that this specific event not be a place for window smashing. We know that it is the police who generally bring physical violence and need no provocation, but we ask that participants come not with the intent to provoke that response but rather with their own expressions of solidarity for Kimani’s friends and family as well as the dozens of people who have been arrested in Brooklyn for protesting his killing.
Just before midnight on Saturday, March 9th, Kimani Gray was returning home from a baby shower. Two undercover police officers in an unmarked vehicle thought the group of young men Kimani was standing with looked “suspicious” (by which they mean Black) and jumped out with guns drawn. Although the officers claim that Kimani pointed a gun at them, witnesses have said there was nothing in his hands, and preliminary reports have shown that Kimani was shot in the back and side. Eerily reminiscent of Alan Blueford’s own last words, Kimani begged the officers not to shoot him, and after he had been shot cried out “Please don’t let me die!” The officers threatened to shoot him again and let him bleed to death on the sidewalk.
Much like Miguel Masso who killed Alan, the two officers who shot Kimani have a long history of violence. These police, Sgt. Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, have previously cost the city of NY (meaning the taxpayers) $215,000 for abuses ranging from illegal stops to shoving a man’s face into a puddle to punching someone they stopped in the face to pulling off a suspect’s pants and underwear. Both officers had previously been involved in shootings (something we see here in Oakland as well with most shootings).
According to a lawyer for some of the people who sued Mourad and Cordova, “In each case, Mourad and Cordova attempted to cover up their misconduct by falsifying and fabricating evidence,” and all but one of the arrests were dismissed.
As usual, the Police have published their lies about what happened, inventing witnesses who no one else seems able to find (much as they did in Alan’s case), and as usual, the media has simply reprinted the lies straight from NYPD’s mouth as if they are truth.
The JAB Coalition does not accept these lies, we do not accept the racial profiling and stop and frisk policies that led to the two police jumping out on Kimani, and we do not accept the continued slaughter of young men of color with the platitude that police were just doing their job. If the job of the police is to provoke a response and then kill a teenager, then we do not need them to keep doing that job. Far from keeping the community safer, the police only bring more violence and more loss of life, and the people have had enough.
In solidarity with the people of East Flatbush, who night after night this week have come out to demand justice and to demand the truth, the JAB Coalition calls on the community to show our support for their cause as well as to continue our own calls for justice and truth. Officers like Mourad and Cordova, and officers like Miguel Masso must be fired, and they must be prosecuted for murder. No badge or uniform gives them the right to kill with impunity.
Justice for Kimani Gray!
Justice for Alan Blueford!
Justice for all victims of police violence!