Protesters have started to march in Southeast Washington D.C. after news spread of the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old Black man by police on Wednesday (Sept. 2), and organizers are calling for a larger demonstration.
According to The Washington Post, relatives said Deon Kay was killed in the Congress Heights neighborhood when officers responded to reports of a man with a gun. Upon arrival, police claim they encountered a vehicle with several individuals inside. Two of them ran, one showed a firearm and an officer fired at him.
Police said body camera footage showed a foot chase ensuing and Kay could be seen pulling a gun from his waist. When the officer fired, he apparently hit Kay in the chest, killing him. Two guns were found at the scene. The body camera footage to corroborate the police account has not been released.
Washington D.C. city council member Trayon White, who represents the ward where the fatal shooting took place, said the “community is concerned about a young man being shot” and although people are questioning the police version of events, it is unclear who witnessed the shooting.
“I want to get the truth out about what happened,” White told the Post. “We need to figure out what the facts are. We are concerned.”
By Wednesday night, demonstrators, including some of Kay’s family members, began to show up at the local police precinct. Officers had to form barriers to keep the crowd at bay.
“They took my baby, they just took my baby from me,” Kay’s anguished mother, Natasha, told the Post. She said the police had not given her many details about what happened. “I need my son back.”
A law passed by the council requires the police to make public body camera footage from deadly police shootings. Officials said the footage could be released as soon as Thursday (Sept. 3). The officer who shot Kay has not yet been publicly identified, but has reportedly been placed on administrative leave.
Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, demonstrators gathered outside of the home of Mayor Muriel Bowser to demand the firing of police chief Pete Newsham. They chanted "Fire Newsham" and "Say his name," while marching through her neighborhood, arriving at her driveway, local station WTTG reported.
Photo Credit: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images