Police in Washington, DC on Thursday released body camera footage of the fatal shooting of a young Black man in the city’s southeast, which ignited protests in the US capital.
The killing on Wednesday of 18-year-old Deon Kay prompted a late-night face-off between the police and dozens of protesters outside a city police station.
Chanting “say his name”, “Deon Kay” and “no justice, no sleep”, protesters on Thursday marched to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s residence, calling on her to fire the DC police chief, local television news station NBC4 reported.
The killing comes amid a nationwide protest movement decrying police violence against Black people and increased nationwide and local scrutiny over police tactics.
In a news conference on Thursday, Bowser offered her condolences to Kay’s family and said an investigation was underway.
“Our community is hurting and we know that they want answers,” she said. “We are still gathering all the facts and [the Metropolitan Police Department] and my administration will conduct a full investigation of this incident.”
The DC police department had said Kay had “brandished a firearm” at officers.
The chief of the MPD, Peter Newsham, said Thursday that Kay was one of two people who fled when approached by uniformed officers who were investigating reports of a man with a gun in the area.
“Two individuals fled on foot and officers pursued them, one of those men brandished a firearm from his waistband as he was fleeing,” Newsham said during during the news conference.
“In response, an MPD officer discharged his service weapon firing a single shot at the individual.”
Police said the other man who escaped from police and Kay were taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In a statement Wednesday, police included pictures of the handgun they said Kay had been carrying, as well as of the gun of another of his companions who was arrested.
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.”
— Black Lives Matter DC (@DMVBlackLives) September 3, 2020
On Wednesday night, videos posted on social media showed dozens of enraged protesters jostling with a line of police officers, who used bicycles to help form a barrier in front of the station.
Police killings of Black people have sparked nationwide protests and calls for sweeping police reform, prompting local efforts by the DC Council to bring greater transparency to such incidents.
In June, following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, the council passed emergency legislation requiring the MPD to release any body camera footage from 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.
Kay’s shooting also comes after the release of a video showing a deadly incident involving police in Rochester, New York.
Daniel Prude, a Black man, died of suffocation in March after a group of police officers put a hood over his head and then pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes. Prude died seven days after the incident occurred when he was taken off life support.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies