Protesters Rally Outside DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Home This Morning Demanding She Fire MPD Chief and Defund the Police After Cops Shot and Killed an 18-Year-Old Armed Black Man
Karen Ruiz and Lauren Fruen, Daily Mail, September 3, 2020
Protests continued outside Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s home on Thursday morning following a night of unrest after police shot and killed an 18-year-old black man on Wednesday afternoon.
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 comes hours after protesters staged a rally outside the mayor’s home and the MPD’s 7th District headquarters overnight.
Deon Kay, of southeast D.C., was shot dead by cops in the 200 block of Orange Street around 4pm on Wednesday, prompting further protests amid increased nationwide and local scrutiny over police tactics.
The Metropolitan Police Department said Kay was one of two people who fled Wednesday afternoon when approached by uniformed officers who were investigating reports of a man with a gun in the area.
‘During the foot pursuit, one of the suspects brandished a firearm. In response, an officer discharged their firearm one time, striking the suspect,’ the MPD statement said.
The other man who fled escaped from police, and Kay was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
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.
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 cop who shot Kay has not been identified. 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.
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.’
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.
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.