Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Tuesday blasted New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for saying the March 9 Police killing of 16 year old Caribbean teen Kimani Gray was justified because “all evidence shows” that he “had a gun.” Gray was shot seven times about the body by Brooklyn detectives. Autopsy reports allegedly show he was hit at least four times from the back.
“The Mayor’s comments were impetuous. Absent the findings of an independent investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney, such hasty conclusions demonstrate a level of prejudice against Kimani Gray that is alarming,” the group said.
Bloomberg on March 15, during a radio interview, and thereafter, claimed that “There’s so far no evidence they (the police officers) didn’t do exactly what the book says.” The Mayor also asserted that “All the evidence says the young man had a gun…. We’ll conduct a normal, full investigation” of the shooting.
But the Institute says Bloomberg’s comments are erroneous. “No eyewitness evidence corroborates the claim that Kimani Gray pointed a gun at Police, the group contended.” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told a City Council hearing last week that no eyewitness said they saw Gray point a gun at Police.
The New York based rights group accused Bloomberg of making declarative and conclusory statements while in the same breath claiming that a “full” investigation into the shooting is underway. “If the Mayor has already formed a conclusion in this case without knowing all of the facts and circumstances, why then is there an investigation? Is it his view that the investigation will rubber-stamp the Police’s version of events?” CGID asked
“Apart from his baseless claims and biased assertions, the Mayor presumes the account given by the police to be factual. However, by now, Mayor Bloomberg should have been fully briefed on the fact that the officers who shot Kimani Gray were accused of manufacturing evidence and violating citizen’s human rights in prior cases. The City was sued in these cases. Mayor Bloomberg’s own administration did not contest the facts in evidence in the aforementioned cases. Instead it chose to settle these lawsuits for substantial amounts,” the organization observed.
CGID said that Mr. Bloomberg’s remarks are obviously as jaundiced as they are premature and have angered the family and community. “These are the inherent and predictable prejudices that fuel the deep-seated resentment and mistrust between minority communities and the City administration and Police,” the group asserted.