The people demanding justice for Kyam Livingston (pictured) held a community speakout at Flatbush Reformed Church Tuesday. Marking six months since Livingston’s death, they discussed her short life and the conditions she allegedly endured at Brooklyn Central Bookings.
Livingston reportedly died in police custody, hours after her grandmother called officers during an argument in their Prospect Park apartment in July. According to Livingston’s fellow inmates, Livingston allegedly complained of stomach pains, which officers ignored.
“They claim in their official events that Kyam died at a hospital, but we’re here to tell you that is not true. Kyam died at 120 Schermerhorn Street,” said Djibrill Toure (pictured in last photo below), a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots movement, who disputed NYPD statements that Livingston died in an ambulance after she was found unresponsive in her cell.
Watch Djibrill and Anita speak here:
After lighting a pair of candles next to blue balloons — Kyam’s favorite color — Anita Neal recalled the night she went back and forth between a Brooklyn hospital and Central Bookings to locate her daughter’s body. Sadly, after hours of searching, Neal reportedly found Kyam’s body elsewhere, “I finally got to see my daughter,” Neal said through tears. “It was her. She was in the morgue. They wouldn’t even let me touch my child.”
“Animals have died a better death than my sister died,” said Ashanta Livingston (pictured below, in top image), Kyam’s sibling. “She died in a place where she had nobody. I’m grateful for the females that were there, but she had no family with her. Why is she gone? I don’t know why.” Kyam’s mother added, “”Everybody, I believe, needs to be removed from Central Bookings and cleaned out and retrained in order for stuff to get done.”
Dayann, goddaughter to Neal, insisted that Kyam should have been helped once she fell ill, “What happened to her should not have happened to any human being,” she said. “If someone is sick and in pain, you’re supposed to help them. No matter what they’re there for or what you think they’re there for, you’re supposed to help them. That’s basic human kindness.”
She also noted that Mayor Bill de Blasio has been largely unresponsive to the case. “This is unacceptable,” she said. “People are dying. People are being beaten. People are being arrested for nonsense. The Mayor has made promises and he’s made statements and he needs to put his money where his mouth is.”
The event also featured an open mic session, where people shared their own experiences at Brooklyn Central Bookings.
Watch an audience member discuss her Central Bookings ordeal here:
Later on, Dayann responded to another person’s inquiry about how to improve Central Bookings:
Watch Dayann talk further about Central Bookings here:
On Friday, February 21st, supporters will meet outside Bookings at 6 p.m., demanding accountability for Kyam’s death and that the location improve its conditions.