The killing of Black people at the hands of police has become an uncomfortable norm across the nation, rightly igniting angry protests and calls for justice. In Washington, D.C., police reportedly shot Black teen Deon Kay in the back, setting off a flurry of protests and demands for answers in the city’s Southeast section.
Kay, who just turned 18 last month according to a report from the Washington Post, was shot and killed in the Congress Heights neighborhood just a half-mile from his home where he lived with his mother. Several local outlets report that on Wednesday (September 2), Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to the scene in SE DC after reports of a man brandishing a weapon were made.
According to the officers, they approached the vehicle, which had several occupants and two of them took off running. The police claim that one of the occupants displayed a weapon, prompting the officers to fire their weapons. Via the account of a pair of city officials who were able to obtain access to the camera footage from the officers’ vantage point confirmed that two officers approached the parked car in a lot then the chase was on.
These officials say that Kay reportedly pulled a weapon from his waistband, and he was shot by one of the officers in the chest. These officials added that there are plans to release the body camera video this week.
City Councilmember Trayon White, who represents Ward 8 which Congress Heights rests in, told a media throng that the community is angered and concerned over Kay’s shooting death.
There are also questions about the account of the incident from city police as citizens gathered at the 7th District police station in Southeast DC. Police and the crowd physically clashed and protestors, which included relatives and friends of Kay, shouted words at the officers blocking access to the station.
The Post added in its reporting that a youth mentor recently enrolled Kay into a G.E.D. program and shared that his mother, Natasha Kay, had plans to leave the Congress Heights neighborhood due to worsening conditions in the region.
On Twitter, there have been pockets of discussion around Deon Kay’s shooting death, and the requisite replies from some users on the social media network digging up old videos and photos of the teen brandishing weapons with his friends. And as some are noting, that should have given the MPD right to gun Kay down.
Check out those reactions below.
UPDATE: Contradicting earlier reports from family and observers that Kay was shot in the back, bodycam footage shows an officer in pursuit who saw the handgun Kay was brandishing and attempting to toss and fire one single shot to the teen’s chest. Officers reportedly administered first aid and Kay was later transported to a local hospital where he died.
According to the police reports, they were witnessing social media video of Kay and a group of others showing off weapons, allegedly, and approached the vehicle with the officers giving chase. To view the bodycam footage, click here. We must warn that the images within might be disturbing to some.
Protestors from @SunriseMvmtDC marched to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Colonial Village home following the police killing of #DeonKay yesterday in SE. The group is demanding Bowser fire Police Chief Peter Newsham and defund MPD. @washingtonian pic.twitter.com/W6PKKtcPMo— hannah good (@goodhannah7) September 3, 2020
Y’all really out here posting #DeonKay with a gun to justify his murder by police after defending this white supremacist murderer shooting people with an illegal firearm?— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) September 3, 2020
Wypipo are exhausting with their racist double standards.#JusticeForDeon pic.twitter.com/lxnOKlH7Dy
I'm tired of demonizing victims of violence and justifications for murder. There is no reason the cops should be shooting someone, or exerting themselves physically. Idc if he has a criminal record. Idc if he even had a gun. No justification for being shot in the back. #DeonKay pic.twitter.com/7BnOE4HTOs— Baewulf (@j_bae_0) September 3, 2020
.@MayorBowser release the body camera footage name and fire the cops that murdered 18 year old Deon Kay. He just turned 18 last month. He screamed for the cops not to shoot him! Shame! #JusticeForDeon #DefundMPD— Mckayla Wilkes (@MeetMckayla) September 3, 2020
This is Deon Kay, who police shot and killed in Washington DC today, as he was running away from them.— Rebecca Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) September 3, 2020
He had just turned 18. pic.twitter.com/X27noYPaFv
100 days since the murder of George Floyd.— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) September 3, 2020
100 days of people crying out for change.
100 days of politicians ignoring the pleas of the people they serve.
And today DC police murdered 18 year-old Deon Kay.
No one else should have to die before politicians listen.
This is Deon Kay.— The Official New York Socialist (@TheNYSocialist) September 3, 2020
He was shot and killed in the back by police in Washington D.C as he was running. There was no reason to kill this child.
Tonight we are once again asking for justice for a police involved shooting.
We are reminded again that we need to defund the police. pic.twitter.com/Fu3Rc1kKyG
crowd gathered in front and 7th District MPD Station in protest of fatal police shooting earlier this evening. They’re chanting “justice for Deon,” the young man identified by family and friends as victim pic.twitter.com/D4cfNvBNi5— Michael Brice-Saddler (@TheArtist_MBS) September 3, 2020
Deon Kay, who just turned 18.— Janeese Lewis George (@Janeese4DC) September 3, 2020
“They took my baby, they just took my baby from me,” said his mother, Natasha. “I need my son back, I want my son back.” https://t.co/qOXpwSXrj7
Demonstration with over 100 people outside MPD’s 7th district station in DC after an officer shot and killed Deon Kay, a Black teenager who just turned 18 on August 10. Calls to defund MPD and invest in Black communities, housing, and health care instead. pic.twitter.com/vU6UZLBVdY— Abdallah Fayyad (@abdallah_fayyad) September 3, 2020