lethal hairbrush?


“just because a subject has something unidentifiable in his or her hands, that’s never an automatic justification for the use of deadly force”—cincinnati attorney scott greenwood, expert on police use-of-force cases and general counsel for the ACLU.


NYPD says the cops who killed khiel coppin were justified in their use of deadly force.

he was armed with a hairbrush.

they had glocks.

the officers were responding to a 911 call made by denise owens, khiel’s mother.

“she had called the hospital to get some help for her mentally ill son and the only form of recourse was to call the police department” said taharka robinson, spokesperson for the national action network. [a civil rights group launching their own investigation into the shooting]

owens told the operater “this..you know..this kid is a problem. you can hear him?”

khiel can be heard claiming to have a gun, yelling repeatedly.

despite a second 911 call informing police that her son wasn’t armed and repeating that to the officers that arrived, they did not hesitate to use unnecessary deadly force, unleashing a barrage of at least 20 rounds on the eighteen-year-old.

according to police, he was ordered to stop and put his hands in the air, but refused.

ask anyone not wearing a blue uniform about what really happened?

andre sanchez, a neighbor who witnessed the incident claimed khiel was surrendering when police shot him to death: “he came out  his window, looked at them, then he came out and stood on his windowsill. police are saying, ‘get down, get down’. he’s just looking. he jumped to the ground, came out of the gate, dropped his brush. i don’t know from where he dropped his brush, [but he] put his hands up, then they just started shooting at him.

witnesses reports corroborate that he put his hands in the air before any shots were fired.

official police account: khiel coppin continued to ignore multiple directions to put his hands up and instead moved toward police; his hand under his shirt as if he was holding something. he eventually pulled his hand out from his shirt and pointed the hairbrush at officers, “aiming it as if it were a gun.”


“i don’t care whether they are black, latino, or white, when they join the force most of them turn blue. when you turn blue, you police the white community one way and you police the black community another way.”—city councilman charles barron