Bloomberg says he doesn’t want to inflame East Flatbush
Over the weekend, police shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray in East Flatbush.
The police department says he pointed a loaded gun at officers before he was shot and that they've recovered the weapon. An eyewitness says she never saw a gun in Gray's hand.
Last night, for the second time since Gray's death, residents of East Flatbush engaged in a demonstration that turned violent.
This afternoon, following a press conference about New York City's record population growth, reporters asked Mayor Michael Bloomberg about the discord in Brooklyn.
After expressing condolences for Gray's family and reasserting the department's statement that Gray did in fact have a loaded gun, Bloomberg talked about his local and national gun control efforts.
"I'm doing everything I can to keep guns off our streets, as you know, and keep young people away from guns," he said. "This gun that was recovered that apparently the young man had was originally purchased in Florida. I think it's another example of why we've got to stop illegal gun trafficking."
He dismissed the notion, suggested by Councilman Jumaane Williams, that these riots were somehow indicative of rising racial tensions ("People here get along in a very unique way") or inadequate police outreach to the community ("It's one of Commissioner [Ray] Kelly's top priorities.")
And he said that he would not be visiting East Flatbush, for fear of making the situation worse.
"I do not want to go out there and inflame things," said the mayor. "I don't want to get in the way of the police department."