It looks like the NYPD may not have been justified in the shooting of Keston Charles. In Dec 2013, an officer shot at the 15-year-old African American boy 16 times and managed to strike him with three of the bullets during a foot chase, the New York Daily News reported Friday. The surveillance video from the arrest shows that the Brooklyn teen posed no threat during the pursuit.
The Daily News reported that the footage is comparable to that of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was shot to death by Cleveland police while possessing a pellet gun in November 2014. However, in Charles’ case he was waving a BB gun and survived his gunshot wounds.
Charles’ attorney argued that his client was shot in the buttocks, then twice in the side and chest after he dropped the BB gun. He was reportedly in the process of surrendering by placing his hands above his head. Both the city and Charles’ lawyer agree that the video proves the case. The two are awaiting the decision from a Manhattan Federal Judge on whether the lawsuit filed by the teen’s family should be dismissed or taken to trial where a jury can decide whether there was excessive force used.
Officers Jonathan Rivera, who fired at the teen 16 times, and Kevin Franco initially spotted Charles’ in the middle of a confrontation. They accused the young man of grabbing a BB gun from a friend during a fight with some rivals and then alleged that he pointed the weapon at another boy.
The pursuit eventually ended in front of Charles’ apartment building in the Brownsville Houses. In the video, the boy is seen stumbling after being shot in the buttocks and collapses against a gate in front of the building.
The officers involved in the pursuit and shooting were never reprimanded for their actions after the NYPD firearms discharge review board ruled that the shooting was justifiable within department guidelines.