N. Orleans cops shoot man 12 times in the back
A young, black man in New Orleans is dead, slain by police officers on New Year's Day, in an incident that has outraged a community and triggered protests over what family members are calling a "murder."
The New Orleans man, 22-year-old Adolph Grimes III, traveled to his grandmother's home near the French Quarter in order to celebrate New Year's Eve with his fiance and their 17-month-old son. Three hours after arrival, around 3 a.m., he was found dead a block from the front door.
The Orleans Parish coroner said Grimes was shot 14 times, including 12 times in the back.
"This violence has to stop. My child's death will not be meaningless. He did not die in vain," said Grimes' mother, Patricia Grimes.
An editorial in The Times-Picayune said the shooting "demands answers."
Despite the fact that the seven officers involved in the incident have been reassigned, Superintendent Warren Riley has refused to answer "fundamental questions" about the shooting and maintains that Grimes fired upon his men first.
Several dozen people protested the New Orleans Police Department on Thursday morning to demand justice for Grimes' death.
A mix of people walked paced in front of a police station carrying signs with slogans like "Down with the government" and shouting to passers-by "You could be next!"
A group of black ministers and advocates has called for the department to be purged of "trigger-happy" officers and the Grimes family's attorney, Richard Jenkins is certain an investigation will show rogue cops and sloppy police work.
"I just think it was some bad officers who were out there and imposing their will on the community," Jenkins said.
The shooting of Grimes by the NOPD marks the third high media incident of an officer or officers shooting a seemingly innocent black male thus far in 2009.
In Oakland, Calif, a BART officer shot a 22-year-old black male in the back on New Year's Eve. The slaying was caught on multiple videos, all of which showed the man unarmed, subdued and helpless. The city is still struggling to contain the public's reaction to what appears to be an execution.
Also, in Houston, a 23-year-old black male was shot in his own home's driveway by a white police officer during the early hours of New Year's Eve. According to published reports, the officer thought the man's vehicle was stolen. An internal investigation is underway. While the department has denied allegations of racial profiling related to the shooting, no effort to explain why the officer suspected the vehicle to be stolen has been offered.