Teenager killed by police in US capital Washington DC

18-year-old Deon Kay was shot and killed by police in Washington DC. The killing has triggered further protests from residents at a time when the capital is already witnessing massive demonstrations against police violence

September 03, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Protesters gather outside 7th District Police Station in Washington DC. Photo: DCist

Another incident of police shooting in the US sparked protests outside a police station in capital Washington DC. According to reports, officers shot and killed 18-year-old Deon Kay in a southeast DC neighborhood on September 2, Wednesday. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) chief Peter Newsham confirmed the shooting and stated that the victim was a teenager.

According to the police, the officers involved in the shooting were in the area after being tipped off about the possible presence of guns inside a car. The official version stated that once the officers approached the said vehicle, the people inside tried to flee. The police, according to this version, shot at them during the chase, hitting the victim. Newsham also stated that the officers suspected that the men who were being chased were armed.

However, it is not confirmed whether the victim had any gun on him, or if he was even part of the group being chased. A local city council member, Trayon White, who was also present at the scene of the shooting, has questioned the police narrative. “They said two weapons were recovered, but when the question was asked, ‘Was he armed?’ there was no straight answer, so we want to get the facts of what happened to this young man,” White said. Furthermore, suspected possession of a firearm does not justify police to open fire at people.

Within hours of the shooting, protesters had gathered outside the 7th District police station of the MPD to condemn the killing. 

The DC city council had only recently passed certain emergency police reforms which require police to wear body cams while on-duty. The MPD is also required to share the body cam footage with the family members of the victims within a day, and to the public within five days.

The measures were implemented after DC, like other parts of the country, witnessed massive protests and demonstrations against police violence and shootings following the killing of George Floyd in May. However, movements believe that it is necessary to do much more to address the systemic racist violence in the city and in the country. On Thursday September 3, protesters gathered outside Mayor Muriel Bowser’s house to demand that she immediately defund the Metropolitan Police Department and fire police chief Newsham.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation has called for a rally on Saturday September 5 outside the 7th district Police Station “to call for justice for Deon Kay, an end to racist police terror and an end to police occupation of DC’s Black communities.