DC police have released body camera footage depicting the shooting death of a Black, 18-year-old named Deon Kay.
In a Wednesday standoff, police shot and killed the DC teenager, who was armed with a handgun at the time of his death. In a written statement on Wednesday evening, law enforcement said that Kay had pulled out the gun right before the officer fired at him. The police department has since identified the officer as Alexander Alvarez.
In the statement, Alvarez says he saw Kay reveal the handgun, and fired at him once. He notes that he did not fire a second time, because Kay had dropped the weapon.
Police Chief Keeps Calm
DC Police Chief Pete Newsham spoke at a press conference, emphasizing that despite the nature of the shooting, Kay’s death was a tragedy. He also confirmed that Kay had a history with law enforcement, and that he was a confirmed member of a local gang. Still, none of that excuses the fact that Kay, a teenager, is now dead. “I’m sure Deon Kay fell through multiple safety nets before yesterday afternoon,” Newsham noted.
Additionally, Newsham said that the process of making body camera footage public would be “herculean.” But it would be essential nonetheless, the police chief said, as he is concerned about the spread of misinformation in “the current climate.” As civil unrest has become a ubiquitous response to such shootings, Newsham hoped to control the story. He hoped to ensure that the violence that has already besieged the nation’s capital, and several other cities, does not escalate. The department did release the body cam footage, which showed the moments before Kay’s death, and the single shot that Officer Alvarez fired.
By Wednesday night, more than a hundred demonstrators assembled at the DC Police Department’s 7th District station. Then, on Thursday morning, protests resumed outside of the home of Mayor Muriel Bowser.