Kimani Gray: Another NYPD Usual Suspect?

Amid conflicting reports, some wonder if the teen is the latest innocent black male to be killed by cops.

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Coates uses the recent stop-and-frisk of Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker at an Upper West Side deli as a prime example that black males are confronted with unreasonable prejudice regardless of their station in life. The arrest of Harvard professor (and editor-in-chief of The Root) Henry Louis Gates Jr. and violent death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin are further examples of innocent African-American males targeted for the color of their skin alone. And as Coates argues, the problem is more than skin-deep.

Kimani Gray's death is worrisome mostly because of the NYPD's dark history on matters of racial violence -- leaving members of the community to wonder about the veracity of the department's version of events and to question if a gun was planted on the teenager to justify the shooting. Brooklyn residents, many of whom seek an end to the all-too-common violence experienced by black and brown people at the hands of New York's law-enforcement officers, have found a new martyr to give voice to an old cause and have taken to the streets to protest.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams addressed the deep-seated resentment at the heart of the demonstrations in a statement: "This action, which some are calling an uprising, was not about the details of one shooting; it spoke to the overwhelming frustration that people are living through day after day."

Edward Wyckoff Williams is a contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing on Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, ABC, CBS Washington and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Edward Wyckoff Williams is a contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing on Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, ABC, CBS Washington and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Kimani Gray Protest and Vigil Photos

Protests and arrests after the killing of a Brooklyn, N.Y., teen by police, caught on camera.

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