EAST FLATBUSH, NEW YORK (PIX11)– Hundreds of people slowly trickled into St. Catherine of Genoa Church in East Flatbush to say goodbye to 16-year-old Kimani Gray Saturday morning.
The atmosphere seemingly calm following a series of riots that terrorized the neighborhood since the teen was shot and killed by police earlier this month.
“I think it’s tragic and I feel for his mother and his father, the brothers and sisters that are grieving their terrible loss, I can’t imagine what they’re going through, what they’re experiencing, so our prayers and thoughts are with them,” says Rev. Charles Galbreath.
Police say Gray, who had a history of arrests, pulled a gun on two cops the night he was killed.
But many in the community still don’t believe the teen was armed at the time of the shooting.
On this day though, for a few hours at least, the debate silenced to allow a community and family to mourn.
“They’re thinking of their own kids, it could have been them.”
“We have to let them know that we as a society, all of us, we are going to work together, to make sure that he didn’t die in vain.”
For many, that means mending a fractured relationship between cops and the East Flatbush community.
But most agree, that with gangs clearly influencing young kids throughout the neighborhood, improving the relationship between the community and law enforcement has to start at home.
“Parents have to take much more care of their children, definitely.”