Kimani Gray, a Brooklyn teenager, was shot and killed by police on March 9 of last year, an incident which set off three days of large-scale protests in Brooklyn resulting in about 50 arrests. Now one of the New York City plainclothes cops who shot Kimani Gray has been named “Cop of the Year.”
Neither that officer, Sgt. Mourad Mourad, or his partner Officer Jovaniel Cordova, have ever faced charges in the killing of the teenager. They said that Kimani Gray pointed a.38 caliber pistol at them before they opened fire and shot the 16-year-old high school student seven times. But witnesses disputed their account.
Kimani Gray was a student at Manhattan’s Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction, commuting an hour each way to get there. But police said that he was actually a member of the Bloods street gang.
The two officers were working plainclothes on an undercover assignment when they said they tried to stop Kimani Gray for questioning and instead, he pulled a gun on them. But Gray’s family has since sued the NYPD saying that not only did the cops stop Kimani simply based on racial profiling, and then wrongfully caused his death, they inflicted extra pain and suffering on him by refusing him medical care that might have saved his life, leaving him to die on the Flatbush Street.
On Thursday of this week, the NYPD Muslim Officers Society announced that it would name Mourad Mourad its “Cop of the Year” for 2013. Mourad was also honored by the department in 2011 for “outstanding police work.”
“It’s an insult to the family and the community,” said former city council member Charles Barron. “There has been a pattern in the Police Department to reward cops who killed our black youth.”
The Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition also objected to the planned award.
“We find it unconscionable that he would be considered for an award,” the group wrote in a statement. “The Muslim community is a community that stands up for the civil rights of others and is sensitive to the plight of marginalized communities who suffer the abuses of the NYPD.”
Mourad had earlier been named in three other civil rights lawsuits, and his partner in two more, that cost New York City about $215,000 in settlements.
Under pressure due to the controversy surrounding his selection and his shooting of Kimani Gray, Mourad sent a letter declining the award and did not show up at Thursday’s ceremony.