Was Deon Kay Shot in the Back While Fleeing Washington D.C. Police? Was he a threat to police officer’s immediate lives? Was he in the act of committing a crime?
The fatal shooting of black man Deon Kay at the hands of Washington DC Police, Wednesday afternoon, led to BLM protesters flocking the police station overnight demanding justice and ‘answers’.
Deon Kay’s shooting death took place in Southeast Washington’s Congress Heights neighborhood, the District’s police chief said. At stake is why Kay, who it is thought was running away, and wasn’t an immediate threat to police officer’s lives, came to be fatally shot in the back?
The incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. in the 200 block of Orange Street SE.
Relatives said Kay had only turned 18 last month. He lived with his mother about a half-mile from where he was shot.
‘They took my baby, they just took my baby from me,’ his mother, Natasha Kay, said at her home hours after the shooting the Washington Post reports.
Approached by police simply because he was black?
She said police told her very little about what had happened.
‘I need my son back,’ the mother said. ‘I want my son back.’
Police said the encounter began when officers responded to a report of a man with a gun and came upon several people in and around a vehicle. They said two of those people ran, one of them displayed a firearm and an officer fired in response.
Of question is why Kay, who as an adult had the right under the second amendment to bear arms, was being reproached by police? If someone calls 911 saying that someone has a gun in a public place they are not reporting a crime. Or is the crime to be black and in possession of a weapon- assuming Kay had lawful rights to own the weapon?
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) September 3, 2020
Police account questioned
Two city officials who viewed police body camera video of the incident said at least two officers approached a vehicle in a parking lot and a foot chase began. As one officer ran past the vehicle, the officials said the footage shows Kay pulling a gun from his waist. The officials said the officer fired, appearing to strike Kay in the chest.
City officials said they plan to publicly release the body camera footage as soon as Thursday. In a press release, police included photos of a gun they said Kay was carrying and a firearm they said was recovered from a man arrested at the scene.
Some people near the shooting scene questioned the police account. On Wednesday night, a few dozen demonstrators, including some of Kay’s family members, converged at the 7th District police station. Officers pushed the crowd of people, many of them angry and emotional, away from the station doors.
“I’m tired of that shyt because my tax money just paid for that young man to get murdered…We are paying them to assassinate us. Its not right” 💔
18 y/o black child just became another hashtag #JusticeForDeon in DC
Deon Kay was murdered today by policepic.twitter.com/KXizUwD5ZY
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) September 3, 2020
‘We’ve seen this narrative too many times in America’
The council member noted that some accounts of the shooting from residents differ from what police have said, though it is not clear whether those people witnessed the shooting.
D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) told reporters that the community is ‘concerned about a young man being shot.’
‘We’ve seen this narrative too many times in America, and now it’s hitting home. I talked to his mom about 15 minutes ago and we want to figure out what’s on the body camera footage, to figure out if he was running away why was he shot?’
‘I want to get the truth out about what happened,‘ White said. ‘We need to figure out what the facts are. We are concerned.’
‘What do you want? Justice! When do you want it? Now! If we don’t get it, shut it down.’ protesters outside the police station were heard chanting.
The crowd, which grew to around 100 people as the night wore on, later began shouting, ‘We want answers!’
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) September 3, 2020
‘He was trying to get himself together’
Omar Jackson, Kay’s mentor said the 18 year old had just got into a high school equivalency program. ‘He was trying to get himself together and get out of this situation,’ Jackson said. ‘I feel bad. My job is to keep him out of situations like this.’
A new law passed by the D.C. Council to increase police accountability requires the police department to make public video from the body cameras of officers who fire their weapons in deadly shootings.
The family of the person shot can object, in which case the video will not be made public. If the family agrees, the video must be made public within five business days of the shooting.
D.C. police have shot four people this year; the young man shot Wednesday is the lone fatality. District police shot five people in 2019, one of them fatally, and two people in 2018, both of whom died.