A woman who witnessed the 2013 shooting of Kimani Gray claims the teen had his hands up when he was shot to death by NYPD officers.
According to the New York Daily News, Tinasha King’s statements were heard in court last week in light of the wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the Brooklyn native’s mother, Carol Gray.
Gray was 16-years-old when he was shot and killed by Sergeant Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, who approached Gray and other teens on a street in Flatbush, Brooklyn in March 2013. Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced in July 2014 that the officers wouldn’t face criminal charges. The officers claimed the teen aimed or reached for a .38 caliber gun from his waistband during the incident.
An autopsy showed Gray was shot seven times with three bullets entering his back, indicating he might have been running from the police, not facing them.
During a deposition on Tuesday, (March 22) King said she saw the encounter from her third floor apartment window. She claimed Gray was unarmed and his hands were up when police approached him.
Via New York Daily News:
After King’s deposition last Tuesday, the city accused Carol Gray’s lawyer, Richard Cardinale, of coaching the witness. Cardinale responded with a blistering letter to Federal Magistrate Judge Marilyn Go, calling the city’s lawyers “desperate.”
“Ms. King asked me how much longer the deposition was going to take, as (the city) had questioned King at length about every topic but the shooting itself,” Cardinale wrote. “On cross-examination, I asked King a few questions about the shooting, and she testified that (Mourad and Cordova) shot Kimani Gray while he had his hands up and that, at no time, did Gray point a weapon at the defendants.”
The police narrative strongly indicated that Gray had the gun in his hand during the shooting, but DNA evidence later revealed fingerprints on the firearm belonged to two individuals that didn’t include Gray. The city is reportedly naming the findings an “argumentative interpretation of forensic reports.”
King’s testimony also revealed that she was unaware of the police claims that Gray had a gun in his possession. Another witness, Jayquan Frazier, who was with Gray at the time of the incident, was also questioned. His lawyer, Anthony Ricco, claimed investigators’ questions were leading and needed clarification.
Ricco said there were times during the questioning when “I thought clarification was needed, particularly when I felt that the interrogating officer was misrepresenting what Mr. Frazier had said …,” according to a transcript via the Daily News.
“It had to do with, ‘Did you see Kimani Gray’s hands near his waistline?’” Ricco recalled. “And he said, ‘Yes,’ and then, of course, they moved away, they asked about school or something else.
“So I think my followup question … was ‘When did you see his hands near his waistline and what was he doing?’ (and) I think Jayquan said he was trying to pull his pants up as he was trying to climb over the fence.”
After the family announced the wrongful death suit in May 2013, they claimed there was also video evidence that showed “police personnel pretty much militarized the block.”
The amount the family is seeking in damages hasn’t been disclosed.
SOURCE: NY Daily News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter