Family, friends and supporters mourned Kimani Gray at his funeral Saturday, two weeks after the 16-year-old was shot and killed by plainclothes police officers.
Services for the teen were held at St. Catherine of Genoa Church in Brooklyn, with police watching over the proceedings.
The New York City Police Department claims that the officers fired 11 times when Gray pulled out a gun. Though Gray did not shoot, his weapon was allegedly loaded with four bullets.
Gray was shot seven times, including three times in the back. Witnesses at the scene claim that the teen was not holding a gun when he was killed, and that he had attempted to run away when officers drew their weapons.
Gray had four previous arrests and police say he was a member of the Blood street gang.
Gray’s family refuted the report, and has requested an independent investigation of the shooting. Vigils and protests held in the weeks following the shooting ended in dozens of arrests, as angry young New Yorkers began hurling bottles and debris at NYPD officers.
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to reach out to the Gray family, only to receive a stern rejection.
“We weren’t interested in the photo op,” Kenneth J. Montgomery, a lawyer representing Gray’s mother, Carol Gray, told The New York Times. “In the totem pole of important things and important emotions, that would come somewhere at the bottom.”
Bloomberg said that Ms. Gray went as far as changing her telephone number to avoid him. The mayor has characterized the shooting as justified, based on reports from the police.
Bloomberg has offered similar condolences in the past, including to the family of Sean Bell, a young man who was shot at more than 50 times by police in 2006.
Montgomery suggested that the mayor’s gesture would be hollow. “I don’t know why he would reach out,” he said. “I’m much more interested in seeing him pushing the powers that be to get an investigation done.”