NYPD denies shooting black teen 19 times amid protests, says they took down 34-year-old after he shot a man
The New York City Police Department has furiously denied "inaccurate" rumors that its officers killed a teenage boy after shooting him 19 times and said the incident, in fact, involved a 34-year-old man.
The department found itself trending on social media on Tuesday, June 2, after a video of an officer-involved shooting went viral on Twitter. Users on the platform started using the phrase "Nineteen Times" in their tweets and called the police "terrorists" for allegedly shooting a 13-year-old African-American boy.
"Seattle and Portland peaceful protesters attacked by police," one user wrote. "New yorkers trapped on bridge by police. NYPD shoots a protester NINETEEN TIMES. AMERICA IS A WARZONE AND THE POLICE ARE THE TERRORISTS."
"WE SAID BLACK LIVES MATTER, AND THEY ANSWERED BY SHOOTING A BLACK MAN NINETEEN TIMES TONIGHT," another tweeted. "Also, don't say 'he had a gun'. WHAT ABOUT THE WHITES THAT HAD GUNS? MARCHING FOR HAIRCUTS??"
However, NBC New York reported that the shooting had nothing to do with the ongoing George Floyd protests in the city and that the victim was not a young teenager as it was being claimed on social media but a 34-year-old man.
The incident reportedly unfolded after officers responded to reports of shots fired in Crown Heights in Brooklyn just before 9.30 pm. Chief of Department Terence Monahan said they found a man who had been shot while searching in the area around the intersection of Bergen Street and Rochester Avenue and quickly began searching for the shooter.
During the search, they found the suspect hiding behind a tree between a nearby playground and a fence. Monahan said the gunman came out and advanced towards the officers with his gun raised and that he did not comply with commands ordering him to lower his weapon. After a minute where he refused to drop the gun, the chief said approximately 10 officers opened fire at him, striking him multiple times. He was declared dead shortly afterward.
His victim was subsequently transported to the hospital, where he is said to be in stable condition. Three other officers who were at the scene had to be treated for tinnitus.
While a cause for the shooting was unclear, Monahan said it was "not related to the ongoing protests." He also said rumors that the shooter may have been a boy as young as 13 was "inaccurate information" and that he was "34-years-old and had just shot another man".
Several cities have taken to the streets to protest the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, a truck driver who was killed after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for close to 9 minutes as he pleaded, "I can't breathe".
In many of these cities, protests have turned violent and resulted in clashes between protesters and the police. In Las Vegas, a police officer was critically injured after he was shot in the back of the head as he was trying to control a crowd in front of the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino just after 11 pm on Monday, June 1. The same night, in a separate incident, another man died after he was shot near the Lloyd George Federal Building on Las Vegas Boulevard.
You can watch the viral video here.