Washington D.C. police have released bodycam footage showing the moment officers shot dead an 18-year-old black man after he allegedly brandished a gun during a police chase – sparking protests across the city.
Deon Kay died on Wednesday after he was shot in the chest by a Metropolitan Police officer identified on Thursday as Alexander Alvarez.
Authorities said Kay was one of two people who fled when approached by uniformed cops investigating reports of a man with a gun near the 200 block of Orange Street on Wednesday afternoon.
During the foot pursuit, Kay allegedly pulled out a weapon, prompting an officer to open fire in response, the MPD said in a statement.
Body camera footage released on Thursday has shed light on the events leading up to Kay’s death which comes amid nationwide protests and calls for sweeping police reform.
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Body camera footage released on Thursday has shed light on the events leading up to Deon Kay’s death which comes amid nationwide protests and calls for sweeping police reform
In an 11-minute redacted video, cops are seen chasing Kay near an apartment complex in southeast D.C. before cornering him with their weapons drawn
The officer can be heard telling the teen, ‘Don’t move! Don’t move!’ multiple times as Kay runs towards them with a gun in his hand before tossing it
In an 11-minute video clip, cops are seen chasing Kay near an apartment complex in southeast D.C. before encountering him with their weapons drawn.
The officer can be heard telling the teen, ‘Don’t move! Don’t move!’ multiple times as Kay runs towards them with a gun in his hand before tossing 98 feet away, according to police.
The cop then fires one round, striking Kay in the chest, causing him to collapse on the ground.
The officer is seen searching for the weapon near a grassy area, as he explains what has happened to two other cops as they arrive at the scene.
It marks the first fatal police-involved shooting in D.C. since new police reform laws went into effect earlier this year.
The incident is currently under investigation and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, per MPD policy.
During a press conference on Thursday, Police Chief Peter Newsham said officers had seen a livestream on social media of a man with a gun and recognized him from ‘previous contacts.’
Newsham said Kay was ‘validated gang member from the area and had multiple brushes with the law in the past.
Earlier protesters gathered outside Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s home following a night of unrest over At least a dozen members of the Sunrise Movement DC gathered outside the Colonial Village home at daybreak holding signs reading, ‘Defund or Resign’ and ‘No justice, no sleep’, demanding Bowser fire Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham and defund the police department.
Video shared on Twitter showed one protester speaking into a megaphone saying: ‘If you don’t defund the police then you shouldn’t bother running for re-election.’
It came hours after protesters staged a rally outside the mayor’s home and the MPD’s 7th District headquarters overnight.
Activists from the Sunrise Movement rallied outside DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s home at daybreak on Thursday following overnight protests over the police shooting of Deon Kay
At least a dozen protesters gathered outside the Colonial Village home holding signs reading, ‘Defund or Resign’ and ‘No justice, no sleep’, demanding Bowser fire MPD Chief Peter Newsham and defund the police
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (left) who has backed the BLM movement is yet to speak publicly on Wednesday’s shooting. MPD Chief Peter Newsham (right) on Wednesday said it would be ‘improper’ to speculate on what prompted the officers to open fire, but he said two firearms were recovered from the scene. Body cam footage is expected to be released later today
The other man who fled escaped from police, and Kay was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police said Kay had been in possession of this gun
Marcyelle Smith, 19, was arrested in the incident and charged with carrying a pistol without a license. Deonte Brown, 18, was also arrested and charged with no permit, according to police.
The police statement included pictures of the handgun they say Kay had been carrying, as well of the gun of another of his companions who was arrested.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, per MPD policy.
Body camera footage of the incident is currently under review and is expected to be released publicly as early as today, police said.
Mayor Bowser is yet to publicly comment on Wednesday’s shooting.
Following the shooting, the local Black Lives Matter affiliate called for immediate protests outside the MPD’s 7th District headquarters, stating in a tweet, ‘DC police murdered a Black man today.’
Earlier Thursday morning, a group of around 20 protesters made their way from the scene of the original demonstration outside a police precinct in DC to the street where Mayor Bowser lives.
The demonstrators can be heard in a video posted by N2Sreports chanting: ‘If we don’t get no justice, you don’t get no sleep.’
They spent around an hour outside the property, arguing with cops who arrived at the request of a neighbor, before a larger police presence drove to the scene and they left.
Earlier Kay’s mother Natasha told The Washington Post: ‘They took my baby, they just took my baby from me. I need my son back, I want my son back.’
DC Council members reacted to the shooting on Twitter, demanding officials release bodycam footage to ensure ‘accountability’
Protesters confronted police officers outside of the 7th precinct to express their anger after Washington Metropolitan Police Department shot and killed a young black man in southeast DC
The shooting prompted a late-night face-off between police and dozens of protesters outside a city police station
The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon and comes amid nationwide unrest over police violence
Black Lives Matter protesters have gathered outside a police precinct in Washington DC after police shot and killed an 18-year-old black man Wednesday afternoon
Kay, who had just turned 18, had recently gotten into a high school equivalency program, youth mentor Omar Jackson told the Post.
He said the teen ‘was trying to navigate through this chaotic situation out here’ and ‘get himself together.’
‘I feel bad. My job is to keep him out of situations like this,’ Jackson said.
The shooting comes as police killings of black people have sparked nationwide protests and calls for sweeping police reform.
Washington DC saw violent protests in the weeks following police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota back in May, and the chaos re-erupted last Thursday, the final night of the Republican National convention, when six officers were hospitalized in demonstrations across the city.
The unrest continued into Sunday night, with a group of heavily armored officers seen moving in on a hundred-strong crowd of protesters gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza shortly before midnight.
Last week, a large crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters also accosted white diners outside several Washington, DC restaurants, demanding that they raise their fists to show solidarity with the movement.
Footage showing the demonstrators aggressively yelling at one woman in the Adams Morgan neighborhood went viral on social media and sparked a widespread backlash.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham said of the shooting Wednesday afternoon that uniformed officers approached a vehicle, acting on information that there were weapons in a car in the area.
The incident happened at around 4pm and comes amid nationwide unrest over police violence. The victim has been named Deon Kay, who just turned 18
Relatives identified the person killed as Deon Kay, who turned 18 years old last month
In a press conference Newsham said: ‘Uniformed police officers had information that there were guys in the neighborhood with guns, specifically. That’s what they were looking for and evidently that’s what they found.’
Newsham said it would be ‘improper’ to speculate on what prompted the officers to open fire, but he said two firearms were recovered from the scene.
‘We believe the suspect had a gun at the time,’ Newsham told reporters during an impromptu news conference. Members of the community on the scene disputed that contention.
The local Black Lives Matter affiliate called for immediate protests Wednesday night outside the MPD’s 7th District headquarters, stating in a tweet, ‘DC police murdered a Black man today.’
Kay’s aunt Marie McNeil, 57, said her nephew had told her he loved her when she last saw him Wednesday morning.
Police had earlier tweeted: ‘Preliminary information in reference to an MPD Officer Involved Shooting in the 200 blk of Orange St SE. An adult male was taken to a local hospital.
A firearm has been recovered on the scene. Chief Newsham will provide an update momentarily.’
The shooting comes a day after Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she fears the US is ‘descending into a race war’. Donald Trump on Sunday told Bowser to start arresting people or have the National Guard sent in.
‘Mayor Bowser should arrest these agitators and thugs! Clean up D.C. or the Federal Government will do it for you. Enough!!’ he tweeted.
It also comes in the wake of new police reform legislation in Washington, designed to bring greater transparency to such incidents.
In June, amid nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation requiring the MPD to release any body camera footage from any fatal shootings or use-of-force incidents within five days.
The department must also release the names of the officers involved.
In July, the city released body camera footage from three separate fatal incidents dating back to 2018.