Protests erupted in Washington, D.C., after police shot and killed an 18-year-old black teenager on Wednesday, but the more exaggerated accusations were undermined by body-camera video released a day later.
Black Lives Matter protesters immediately pounced on reports that the police had shot and killed Deon Kay, and many accused the police on social media of shooting another innocent unarmed black man.
Police released a statement on Wednesday evening identifying the 18-year-old as Deon Kay and said that officers had recovered two guns from the shooting incident. The statement indicated that police were responding to a report of a livestream video on social media showing guns in a vehicle.
Protesters immediately organized a demonstration outside D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s home to demand that she fire the police chief over the shooting and also defund the police department.
On Thursday, police released body-camera footage that showed Kay brandishing a gun during the altercation.
Here’s the graphic body cam video of the incident:
The footage came from the body camera of Officer Alexander Alvarez.
The video showed officers approaching the vehicle before one passenger jumps out and runs away. As Alvarez gives chase, he turns and sees Kay with a gun in his hand. Alvarez shoots once and strikes Kay in the chest, and he is seen collapsing to the ground.
The video follows the officer as he seeks the gun that Kay tossed over his head in the split second before the shooting.
Police said that the first man who fled the car escaped.
“Uniformed police officers had information that there were guys in the neighborhood with guns, specifically,” said Police Chief Peter Newsham
said in a news conference on Wednesday. “That’s what they were looking for and evidently that’s what they found.”
The footage also contradicted the claims that Kay had been shot in the back by police.
Despite the body-camera video, some persisted in claiming that police had acted inappropriately.
“Body camera footage just released from yesterday’s fatal shooting of 18yo Deon Kay in DC. The officer could have used ‘less-lethal tactics’ but chose to SHOOT him instead… Even after he threw his gun on the ground. We need police reform NOW,” tweeted attorney Ben Crump.
“RT If you are tired of negotiating whether a Black child deserved to be killed by police. If you are tired of paying the salary of our executioners,” tweeted the verified account for Black Lives Matter in Washington, D.C.
“Regardless, what you see in the tapes, you know Black people deserve better than this,” they added.