Police shot and killed a Black 18-year-old on Wednesday (Sept. 2) in Washington, D.C. The slain teen has been identified as Deon Kay, who just celebrated his birthday last month.
According the district’s police chief, officers responded to a call in Southeast Washington’s Congress Heights neighborhood about a man with a firearm. Cops reportedly found several people in and around a car, one of them being Kay. Police say two of the people in the group ran away when they approached the car and one of them pulled out a gun. Cops fired their weapons at the group, hitting Kay fatally in the chest.
“They took my baby, they just took my baby from me,” his mother Natasha Kay told reporters. She said police gave her few details about what had happened to her son. “I need my son back. I want my son back.”
According to the Washington Post, Kay lived with his mother about a half-mile from where police shot him. Omar Jackson — a youth mentor who had worked with him for the past two years — said Kay had just gotten into a high school equivalency program and “was trying to navigate through this chaotic situation out here.”
“He was trying to get himself together and get out of this situation,” Jackson said.
According to Jackson, Kay was an athlete who liked to spend time with his girlfriend and take care of his nieces and nephews. His mother was planning to move out them of the area because it had become unsafe.
“I feel bad,” he told reporters. “My job is to keep him out of situations like this.”
Two city officials have reportedly viewed body camera footage of the incident, which police say could become available to the public as soon as today (Sept. 3). According to D.C. law, the police department must make body camera footage public — with the victim’s family’s consent — within five business days after a deadly civilian shooting.
The Washington Post reports that those who have viewed the footage say at least two officers approached the group of people. As one cop ran past the car, officials say Kay appeared to remove a gun from his waist. A press release from the police department includes photos of a gun that they say Kay was carrying and another gun that was recovered from a man arrested at the scene.
According to Fox 5 D.C., over 100 people gathered in protest last night (Sept. 2) outside of the 7th District police station and assembled again on Thursday morning (Sept. 3) outside of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s house. Demonstrators called on the mayor to fire Police Chief Pete Newsham and chanted, “Say his name.”
“I’m tired of that sh*t, ‘cause my tax money just paid for that young man to get murdered,” one protester said in a tweeted video. “…We’ve been getting assassinated and I’m tried of it. So guess what? It’s gonna get nasty before it gets any nicer.”
D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. acknowledged that protesters and some residents who were near the scene of the shooting have questioned the police’s version of what happened.
“I want to get the truth out about what happened,” he told reporters. “We need to figure out what the facts are. We are concerned.”
All officers who were involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave. The name of the cop who fatally shot Kay has not yet been revealed.