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.