Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And Another One

Another unarmed black man was shot to death by police who "thought he was holding a gun." Kiehl Coppin was only 18.

A young man was fatally shot last night in a hail of 20 bullets fired by five police officers who responded to his mother’s 911 call for help in a domestic dispute in Brooklyn, the authorities said.

The police said they believed that the man, Khiel Coppin, 18, had a gun. But when the gunfire stopped, it turned out that he had been holding a hairbrush.

Officers went into the building at 590 Gates Avenue, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, about 7 p.m. The police said they were responding to a 911 call from the mother reporting domestic abuse and asking for help to “deal with this,” and that on the call a man was overheard threatening to kill her and claiming “I have a gun.”


Two bystanders who said they saw the shooting said that Mr. Coppin was not armed, but was carrying a hairbrush when he climbed out the window and that he dropped it when the firing began. The two witnesses also said they both heard one officer yelling for the shooting to stop.

According to the police, another witness described Mr. Coppin as concealing the hairbrush under his shirt, pointing it outward.

I can't believe that quote made it into the article. Could you try any harder to give the police a pass? He had dropped the hairbrush by the time the shooting started, so why would it matter if he was "concealing it"? And what exactly does that mean, anyway?

Gotta remember to leave my wallet and hairbrush at home when I go out.

Mr. Sanchez said that just before the shooting, he went outside and saw several officers there with guns drawn. Mr. Coppin approached the window, backed away, then returned and stood on the sill, Mr. Sanchez said. When an officer told him to get down, he jumped to the ground and started to go through a gate in the fence in front of the building, Mr. Sanchez said.

An officer told Mr. Coppin to put up his hands, and when he did he dropped the hairbrush and the shooting began, although one officer called out to stop the gunfire, Mr. Sanchez said.

Officers started chasing Mr. Sanchez and knocked him to the ground after, he said, he protested: “Why you got to shoot him like that, for nothing?”

A similar description of the shooting was given by Precious Blood, 16, who said she heard about 10 shots fired, most if not all by one officer. Another officer called out: “Stop, stop, stop shooting — he’s down,” she said, but the shooter kept firing, “like he was playing with a toy.”

The law enforcement official gave a different version of the encounter, saying that Mr. Coppin charged toward the officers and refused repeated orders to stop. The police said they were also exploring the possibility that Mr. Coppin was trying to prompt a shooting, a phenomenon known as “suicide by cop.”

"He wanted us to shoot him 20 times while he was unarmed."

Better hope that holds up in court.


Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Thanks for posting this. This raises a number of issues:

1) Unless you want the police to shoot and kill a member of your family, don't call the police to your house. When the police come to Black homes, they often shoot somebody. If you're having trouble with a relative, then call another relative, call a friend, call your pastor and then move away. Do ANYTHING besides calling the police to your home, because if the police come, there's a good chance they're going to shoot somebody. It might even be YOU!

2) Abuse of Black people by the criminal injustice system is so common that it seems to be the issue that most of us have in common, perhaps above all others. It has been a significant catalyst in the growth of the AfroSpear and will continue to be for some time to come.

3) Finally, ask yourself this: Have you heard of any cases in which police shot a white person 20 times because he had a hairbrush in his hand. No? I didn't think so. That's not how white people are treated by the police, but it IS how Black people are treated.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have numbers on the number of murders commited by cops? Could it one day exceed the number of murders commited by non-cops? If so, we might need to get rid of cops.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, it's obviously brutality. The police will probably use for an excuse the recording of Khiel Coppin saying, "I've got a gun, I've got a gun:"


They'll also point to Khiel's mother who called the police, waited outside for them, and when they arrived, warned the police "He's got a gun! He's got a gun! He's going to kill you:"


And finally, they'll give the excuse that after they told him to stop approaching them, to drop what they thought and believed to be a hair bush, he kept approaching before they opened fire.

The usual lame police excuses -- and we're SICK!!!! of them!!!! Excuses excuses excuses for doing what they wanted to do anyway: shot an unarmed man. They should be shot!!!!!

There needs to be a law that you cannot shot at someone until AFTER they've shot at you. And it should be several shots, just to make absolutely sure that it is a gun that's being used against you and that you've clearly identified the person that is shooting at you. And then you need to radio in to get permission to return fire, and permission can only be given after police, community and political leaders have meet to discuss whether or not you can shoot back.

Obviously, anything less than this is a miscarriage of justice and -- let's call it what it is -- murder by police!!!! It's time to take a stand!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The lesson here for all humanity, and it is a good, reasonable lesson, is that if you use the English language to violently declare you "have a gun and are going to kill" and then you proceed to quickly pretend to kill with the object you *said* was a gun, then you are going to be shot. (We do not pay cops enough money to take bullets in the face while the strain their eyes to discern what a lunatic is waving or pointing threateningly.) Don't do the above things if you do not want to be shot. Simple. Go bowling instead.

In this case the system worked. We are fortunate it did not end in tragedy, which it would have in a few weeks, months, or years when this boy finally got his gun and shot up the neighbors.