BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - Family members of the 18-year-old Brooklyn boy killed by police earlier this week are raising new questions about his death.
Kiehl Coppin?s family stood with elected officials from across the borough Friday at Brighter Way Baptist Church to express their concerns. Coppin was killed after a dispute was reported at his Bed-Stuy apartment. Police said they believed Coppin was armed and they were in danger. However, Coppin was holding a hairbrush.
The family?s lawyer, Paul Wooten, said he took issue with New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly?s claim that police acted within department guidelines. Wooten said the family believes Coppin did not get the mental health care he needed in the hours before the shooting.
Wooten also said police did not listen to Coppin?s mother when she said her son did not have a gun. The family is questioning police procedure for dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals. They described the killing as the result of excessive force.
Interfaith Medical Center?s mobile crisis unit responded to a call for help, put out by Coppin?s mother, earlier on the evening the teen was shot. However, Coppin was out of the house when they arrived. Hospital officials insist they responded within the timeframe mandated by law.
The family said Coppin?s funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20.