The Daily News Editorial of August 14, 2012 “An Open-and-Shut Case” asked several questions regarding the police killing of Darrius Kennedy, a mentally challenged African American, in Times Square on Saturday afternoon, August 11:
Should police have opened fire with live rounds? Did they go too far squeezing off 12 rounds? Should they have been armed with Tasers instead of guns? The answer to these three questions, in the water in which they were posed by The Daily News, is a resounding no, yes, and, yes. First of all, had Mr. Kennedy been dressed in business attire, Starbuck coffee cup in his hand and smoking something, would it have automatically been assumed that he was smoking marijuana? In addition, Mr. Kennedy wore his hair in long locks. How did the officers establish that this man was “deranged,” as your newspaper and others report, knowing nothing at all about his background prior to the incident?
Was pursuing a suspected marijuana user worth endangering him and numerous bystanders who could very well have been hit by a stray bullet? Even if he had a knife, surrounded by dozens of police in broad daylight was that the only way to subdue him? Even dogs are brought under control with tranquilizers.
The Daily News article stated that two cops, aided by others, could not bring down one man walking backward down Seventh Avenue? This is inconceivable. There’s a photo taken by a witness of Mr. Kennedy with his hands behind his head. In fact, your own front page carried a similar photo, as did numerous television channels. This means at the time he may no longer have had the reported knife in his hand.
Twelve bullets were fired – Darrius Kennedy was hit seven times and died shortly after this photo was taken. Therefore, Times Square pedestrians were endangered by five stray bullets. To say that the victim of this heinous slaughter “should have known the drill,” as your editorial claims is callous and just adding insult to injury.
There is a very low tolerance by The Daily News in this city for people of a certain socio-economic class, particularly Blacks who fall into this category. There are many people outraged by this incident. Your claim that the officers who killed this man should be awarded medals is preposterous and shows the value you place on the lives of African Americans.
These are human beings being taken to the slaughter house. When will the wholesale murder of Black men by police stop?
By Carolyn Jenkins