A day after the funeral of 16-year-old Kimani Gray, about a hundred people turned out to once again protest his shooting by the NYPD.
Gray was shot by two officers in East Flatbush on March 9 after police said he pulled a gun on them. But Gray's family and supporters have argued that no witnesses saw Gray with a gun.
Marchers at Sunday's rally began at the location where Gray was killed and walked to the 67th precinct, where the two plainclothes officers who shot Gray are stationed. The protesters are demanding that those officers be charged with a crime.
The rally and march was organized by members from a number of community activist groups, including Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Parents Against Police Brutality. Participants from pro-worker organizations and Occupy Wall Street were also in attendance.
The teen's funeral, at a Roman Catholic church not far from where he was killed, drew relatives, friends, and many mourners who had no connection to the teen or his family except a shared sadness over his death. Many mourners wore clothing or carried laminated cards bearing Gray's picture.
"He was funny. And he always knew how to put a smile on my face," said Sidonie Smith, a childhood friend. "Anytime somebody was in a bad mood, he always knew how to make them happy."
The emotion of the service was too much for Gray's father, who fled the church as the choir sang "Amazing Grace." Gray's mother sobbed during the memorial.
The NYPD deployed a large security force to the area around the church during the service, but there was no repeat of the disturbances that came in the days after the shooting.
The Gothamist reported that the NYPD used an "LRAD X" device during the march:
Groups protesting police brutality staged a rally at the vigil site for Kimani Gray on Sunday afternoon, followed by a march that wound through East Flatbush and eventually to the 67th Precinct. Throughout the march, the 200 or so demonstrators were accompanied by an astounding number of police, one of whom brandished a megaphone designed as a non-lethal deterrent. At times police appeared to outnumber protesters by three or four to one. One protester was detained after stepping off of the sidewalk, but an NYPD spokesman could not confirm that any arrests were made.
An officer from the NYPD's Disorder Control Unit carried the suitcase-sized "LRAD X," a super megaphone of sorts that the company's website describes as capable of issuing a "warning tone [that] provides a non-lethal deterrent, [and] shapes behavior." The LRAD X was not used in any kind of weaponized way. “Just knowing it's here makes me nervous,” protester Libor Von Schonau said. The company is primarily known for its larger LRAD product, a powerful sound cannon that can cause severe injuries not only to those targeted for its use, but also to bystanders.
This reporter has covered countless marches and demonstrations accompanied by a heavy police presence and has never seen that device. The officer carrying the "LRAD X" refused to respond to questions.
Kimani Gray was buried Saturday at the St. Catherine of Genoa Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn.