Community Group Says It Wants Justice For Malcolm Gracia
More than 100 people took part in a rally and march Saturday, urging the City of New Bedford to fire the five police officers involved in the 2012 shooting of a 15-year old boy. They're also demanding that criminal charges be filed against the officers.
Malcolm Gracia was killed by detectives following a confrontation at Magnet Park, near the Temple Landing housing development. Police say during questioning by members of the city's gang unit, Gracia stabbed a city detective and refused to drop his weapon.
A subsequent investigation by New Bedford Police, and the Bristol County District Attorney's Office concluded the shooting was justified.
But members of the Community group "Breathe New Bedford" say the shooting was an example of excessive force by police, and they want justice.
Community and family members gathered Saturday to remember Malcolm, and then marched to several locations in Downtown New Bedford including City Hall, the Downtown Police Station, and outside the District Attorney's Office on Purchase St.
The group is also demanding an independent investigation into Gracia's death, along with the formation of an independent civilian review board with subpoena power.
The New Bedford Branch of the NAACP has asked the U.S. Justice Department to begin an investigation into the shooting.
The City of New Bedford earlier this year reached a $500,000 settlement with Gracia's family with no admission of wrongdoing by the city or the police department. However, a Superior Court Judge said the initial police stop of Gracia at Magnet Park was illegal.