The police killing of 18-year-old Deon Kay in Southeast D.C. last week continues to draw criticism from civil rights groups. An organizer with Black Lives Matter DC said Monday that the Metropolitan Police Department tactic of having officers jump out of cars and chase people leads to deadly shootings.
“This is the systematic way that MPD operates and polices black bodies,” organizer April Goggans said. “They see him, they jump out, they barely stop the car and run after him.”
The ACLU and the Stop Police Terror Project DC also condemned the tactic.
Kay was shot and killed by an officer the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 2, seven seconds after the officer ran out of a car, his body camera footage shows. The 18-year-old appears to have had a gun in his hand as the officer confronted him.
Chief of Police Peter Newsham said the officer was faced with a split-second decision once he saw Kay's gun.
The person an officer is confronting also has to make a split-second decision, Goggans said. Kay threw his gun during the encounter with the officer, police say.
Newsham defended officers’ actions, saying they were trying to get guns off streets.
Goggans and others called on Mayor Muriel Bowser to fire Newsham. One protest last week ended outside the mayor’s home.
When Bowser was asked what she would say to protesters, she replied flatly.
“I don’t say anything to them,” she replied.
“That is the real Muriel Bowser,” Goggans said Monday. “She hasn’t ever cared.”
The mayor’s office declined to comment on Monday. The shooting remains under investigation.