In 2013, NYPD officers were in pursuit of Keston Charles, 15, after he reportedly aimed a BB gun at a rival teenager in Brooklyn. During the chase, which ended in front of Charles’ apartment, Officer Jonathan Rivera fired 16 shots from his weapon, three of which his Charles in the buttocks, side and chest.
Newly released video obtained by the New York Daily News shows that Charles was actually running away from Rivera when the shots were fired and had his hands up in the air, with no BB gun in sight.
“The officer’s claim that this young man repeatedly took aim at him with an unloaded toy gun not only defies logic, but it is blatantly contradicted by the video,” lawyers David Shanies, Phil Smallman and Michael Colihan said in a statement.
The city claims that Charles was pointing the BB gun at officers, which is why Rivera fired his weapon. However, the video contradicts those claims.
Charles’ attorneys drew parallels from his shooting, which he fortunately survived, and that of Tamir Rice in Cleveland.
“What happened to Tamir Rice was a tragedy, and both cases are painful reminders of the urgent need to stop unjustified shootings of young African-Americans,” they said.
Dr. Michael Baden, the former New York chief medical examiner went on record to confirm that Charles’ injuries likely came from being in a position with his hands up.
Of course, NYPD officials have stood behind their stance that the shooting and amount of shots fired was justified. If the lawsuit is allowed to proceed, jurors will decide whether or not it truly was.
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