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Protests in Washington after police fatally shoot 18-year-old


Protesters have taken to the streets of Washington, DC, Thursday morning, after police fatally shot a young Black man in the city’s southeast.

The killing on Wednesday of 18-year-old Deon Kay of southeast DC 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 the 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.

The DC police department said Kay had “brandished a firearm” at officers.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police Department said Kay was one of the two people who fled that afternoon when approached by uniformed officers who were investigating reports of a man with a gun in the area.

Demonstrators waving Black Lives Matter flags near the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington 2020 in support of racial justice in Washington, DC [Tom Brenner/Reuters] 

“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 escaped from police and Kay were taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The police statement included pictures of the handgun they say Kay had been carrying, as well as of the gun of another of his companions who was arrested.

The DC police department said it planned to release body-camera footage of the incident on Thursday.

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.”

Later 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.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





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