Yarisa Colón contributed to this article.
On Saturday, March 9, Kimani Gray, a 16-year-old African American boy, died at the hands of two New York City police officers. Once this incident became known, riots broke out in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, for two consecutive days, through which the community demonstrated its outrage against another death that they understand had racial motives. Additionally, after vigils that turned into protests due to Gray's death, a form of martial law (called frozen zones) was declared in some areas of Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood.
According to The New Yorker, the officers, Jovaniel Córdova and Mourad Mourad, who were not dressed in uniform, as well as the victim, had legal histories. Gray had been arrested various times, but never sentenced. And the New York City police had paid $215,000 in legal settlements for suits against Mourad and Córdova for illegal searches and false arrests. The Center for Constitutional Rights brought on a suit against the New York Police Department and the city that puts into question two common police practices: stopping people based on their physical appearance (known as “racial profiling”) and detaining people to search them, also based on their appearances (“stop and frisk”) without probable cause.
Gray's funeral will take place on March 23 in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, reactions to the minor's death have spread on social networks and the hashtags #BrooklynProtests and #kimanigray have been created to talk about the tragedy. Here is a compilation of updates from bloggers who have followed the protests using Tumblr. One of the most intense criticisms in the past days is that the traditional media has ignored this important news. On her account, Barb Morrison (@barbmorrison) criticized the mainstream media for not covering this tragedy:
@barbmorrison: you wont see THIS on CNN. http://uscop.org/the-nypd-declares-martial-law-in-brooklyn/ … #brooklynprotests
Pablo Muñoz (@Alvy_Singer) asked the following question:
@Alvy_Singer: http://www.nydailynews.com/7-nypd-bullets-killed-teen-kimani-gray-article-1.1287452#bmb=1 … Adolescente de 16 años muerto y 4 días de protestas. ¿Qué está pasando en Brooklyn?
@Alvy_Singer: http://www.nydailynews.com/7-nypd-bullets-killed-teen-kimani-gray-article-1.1287452#bmb=1 … A 16-year-old boy dead and 4 days of protests. What is happening in Brooklyn?
Fuerza Morena (@FUERZA_MORENA) from Mexico published:
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) makes the following comparison:
@OccupyWallStNYC: There are two sets of laws in this country: one for the rich, and one for the rest of us. #BrooklynProtest #OWS
Below are images of the protests and vigils in Brooklyn, courtesy of photographer Javier Soriano (http://www.javiersoriano.com):