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BROOKLYN SLAYING SPURS PROTEST AGAINST POLICE

The unarmed Brooklyn man allegedly killed by a police officer on Christmas Day will be buried on New Year's Eve.

The family of William "Smoke" Whitfield, 22, said his funeral is scheduled in Bethlehem Baptist Church in Brooklyn.

"I just want justice for my grandson," his grandmother, Willie Mae Whitfield, told about 50 friends and supporters Sunday during a rally outside her Brooklyn apartment house.

The rally was organized by the "Stop the Violence" project. One of its founders, Police Officer James E. Davis, said the Police Department "dropped the ball" by letting Officer Michael Davitt remain on patrol with eight previous shooting incidents on his record.

Davitt, 36, fired one shot that allegedly killed Whitfield. He and Officer Michael Dugan were searching for someone who had fired shots at the nearby Glenwood Houses on Christmas Day.

Moments later, Davitt and Dugan saw a man later identified as Whitfield run out of the building from which the shots had come.

Whitfield was chased by the officers about a block to the Milky Way grocery store. Whitfield was shot once in the chest inside the store after he refused an order to stop and drop what he was carrying, police said. The object turned out to be keys on a long strap.

The Police Department had no comment on the accusations but did say that Davitt was sent back for weapons retraining twice prior to the Whitfield shooting.

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