- Kimani Gray in an ambulance after being shot by police
Police shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray over the weekend because, the two officers who fired 11 shots said, he pointed a .38 at them. Loved ones say Kimani wasn't stupid enough to point a gun at police officers. Did the boy do as police said he did? Obviously, none of us are qualified to say, though that hasn't stopped anyone on the Internet from giving their two cents, like the pro-police partisans point to the kid's rap sheet to impugn his credibility. But are the police any better? "The police shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness," read
an op-ed in the Times
last month, "perhaps less so." Just because a police officer says something is true doesn't make it so, same as anyone else. None of us—pro- or anti-police—should pretend we can guess what happened here based on the assumptions we make about the world; hold your outrage for facts from fair reporting and full investigation. If you don't believe me: police, in particular the NYPD, have an unfortunate record of lying—of officers perjuring themselves in courts of law, of spokespeople telling reporters things they know to be false. Here's a recent history.