Protests and “Frozen Zones” in Brooklyn after murder of Kimani Gray

Yarisa Colón contributed to this article.

On Saturday, March 9, Kimani Gray, a 16-year-old African American boy, died at the hands of two New York City police officers. Once this incident became known, riots broke out in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, for two consecutive days, through which the community demonstrated its outrage against another death that they understand had racial motives. Additionally, after vigils that turned into protests due to Gray's death, a form of martial law (called frozen zones) was declared in some areas of Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood.

According to The New Yorker, the officers, Jovaniel Córdova and Mourad Mourad, who were not dressed in uniform, as well as the victim, had legal histories. Gray had been arrested various times, but never sentenced. And the New York City police had paid $215,000 in legal settlements for suits against Mourad and Córdova for illegal searches and false arrests. The Center for Constitutional Rights brought on a suit against the New York Police Department and the city that puts into question two common police practices: stopping people based on their physical appearance (known as “racial profiling”) and detaining people to search them, also based on their appearances (“stop and frisk”) without probable cause.    

Gray's funeral will take place on March 23 in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, reactions to the minor's death have spread on social networks and the hashtags #BrooklynProtests and #kimanigray have been created to talk about the tragedy. Here is a compilation of updates from bloggers who have followed the protests using Tumblr. One of the most intense criticisms in the past days is that the traditional media has ignored this important news. On her account, Barb Morrison (@barbmorrison) criticized the mainstream media for not covering this tragedy:

@barbmorrison: you wont see THIS on CNN. …  #brooklynprotests

Pablo Muñoz (@Alvy_Singer) asked the following question:

@Alvy_Singer: … Adolescente de 16 años muerto y 4 días de protestas. ¿Qué está pasando en Brooklyn?

@Alvy_Singer: … A 16-year-old boy dead and 4 days of protests. What is happening in Brooklyn?

Fuerza Morena (@FUERZA_MORENA) from Mexico published:

@FUERZA_MORENA: Mientras tanto, en el “democrático” EEUU… No cesan las protestas en Brooklyn contra la violencia policial

@FUERZA_MORENA: Meanwhile, in the “democratic” US… Protests against police violence do not cease in Brooklyn

Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) makes the following comparison:

@OccupyWallStNYC:  There are two sets of laws in this country: one for the rich, and one for the rest of us. #BrooklynProtest #OWS

Below are images of the protests and vigils in Brooklyn, courtesy of photographer Javier Soriano (

Se convoca a una gran marcha en protesta por la muerte de Kimani Gray.

A mass march will be held on March 24 in protest of Kimani Gray's death.

Una de muchas vigilias en el barrio de East Flatbush en Brooklyn. Foto de Javier Soriano.

One of the many vigils in Brooklyn's East Flatbush neigborhood. Photo by Javier Soriano.

Residentes en Brooklyn se han manifestado en las calles, y la policía respondió con la ley marcial. Foto de Javier Soriano.

Residents in Brooklyn have formed demonstrations in the streets and the police responded with martial law. Photo by Javier Soriano.

Se han registrado vigilias en el barrio de East Flatbush en Brooklyn. Foto de Javier Soriano.

Vigils have occurred throughout Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood. Photo by Javier Soriano.

Velas en el barrio de East Flatbush en Brooklyn. Foto de Javier Soriano.

Candles in East Flatbush of Brooklyn. Photo by Javier Soriano.

Despliegue de fuerzas policiacas en Brooklyn. Dos policias no-uniformados son acusados de quitarle la vida a Gray. Foto de Javier Soriano.

Line up of police officers in Brooklyn. Two officers who were not in uniform are accused of taking Gray's life. Photo by Javier Soriano.

Las protestas ante la muerte de Gray comenzaron el pasado sábado 16. Foto de Javier Soriano.

Protests against Gray's death began on Saturday, March 16. Photo by Javier Soriano.

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