Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Killed holding a hairbrush

I'm disturbed over the death of a Bedford-Stuyvesant teen who was killed by police on Monday.

20 bullets.

What police thought was a gun he was carrying turned out to be a hairbrush.

His mother called the police for what was described as a domestic dispute. What kind of message does this send the community, particularly where it involves the death of another Person of Color through excessive force?


emily said...

in online news articles, khiel coppin was described variously as, "mentally disturbed," "mentally ill" and "deranged." some made no mention of it.

from associated press article:

<< The victim's brother complained his background had been distorted by the media.

"He is a human being," said Joel Coppin. "What we want is simply justice. ... We don't want headlines. We want justice for Khiel so every young black man in the city'll never go through this again." >>

are the media and police investigators using his mental state as a deflection from claims of injustice and unnecessary force?

how would this factor be treated if a similar situation played out in a predominantly white, middle class suburb? is this comparison fair?

the variance in eyewitness testimony is also noteworthy.

Kat in NYC said...

Great point, how would Khiel's condition have been framed by corporate media outlets had he been a white, middle class kid from Westchester.