ACLU Statement on the Police Killing of Deon Kay

September 3, 2020 7:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — Today, the Metropolitan Police Department released the body-worn camera footage of the police shooting and death of Deon Kay in Southeast D.C. on Wednesday.

The footage shows an officer running out of his car and firing his gun in a matter of seconds to end the life of a teenager who was running away from police. The officer made no attempt to de-escalate, there was no warning or directive given to Kay to drop a weapon — a weapon that Kay appears to have thrown in the air and which was recovered almost 100 feet from his body.

The following statement can be attributed to Monica Hopkins, executive director, ACLU of the District of Columbia:

“The D.C. police department’s approach to gun recovery has been dangerous and ineffective for years. The tragic shooting and death of 18-year-old Deon Kay is the logical conclusion of a policy that not only meets violence with violence, but actually escalates and incites it — especially in our Black communities. In addition to being unsuccessful in reducing gun violence in the District, the Metropolitan Police Department’s tactics ignore the complexities of why young people like Deon may have guns to begin with. The time is overdue for D.C. to overhaul its approach to ending gun violence and focus on non-police solutions that address the underlying roots of community violence instead of continuing aggressive police tactics that lead to more fear in communities, more shootings by police, more death, and more family and community trauma.”

The following statement can be attributed to Paige Fernandez, policing policy advisor at ACLU National:

“Less than two weeks after the shooting of Jacob Blake we have been provided with yet another example of the violence and racism endemic in policing in the U.S. Despite often being ignored in national conversations, D.C.’s police force is one of the most problematic in the country. The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has a collective budget of over $600 million dollars per year and its over-policing of Black communities has resulted in one of the highest racial disparities in police killings in the country. Police violence is endemic to this nation and every police department across the country. We can’t ignore the police violence in D.C. We demand justice for Deon Kay and all the other lives the D.C. police force has taken.”

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