The police shooting of a 12-year-old Ohio boy holding a fake gun is under investigation, but new details reveal the boy did not point the replica gun at officers as previously suggested.
The child, identified as Tamir Rice, died Sunday, a day after officers responded to a 911 call about a “probably fake” gun at a playground. Deputy Chief Ed Tomba confirmed the child did pull out the fake gun, but did not point it at police.
According to Jeff Follmer, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, the officers were not told that the 911 caller said the gun was a possible fake.
From the Huffington Post:
Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said one officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon — which was lacking the orange safety indicator usually found on the muzzle — from his waistband but had not pointed it at police. The boy did not make any verbal threats but grabbed the replica handgun after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said.
“That’s when the officer fired,” he said.
Police described the weapon as an “airsoft” type replica that resembled a semi-automatic handgun. The orange safety indicator had been removed, police said.
The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The officers have been identified as a first-year rookie and a 10-year department veteran.
Prosecutors are expected to present the evidence gathered to a grand jury to determine whether the officer was justified in using deadly force. That move will happen only after the police department has collected all evidence, including surveillance video, and presents it to the county prosecutors office.
This is the second time in three months that Ohio police have shot and killed an individual for holding a fake gun in an open carry state.
In August, police fatally shot 22-year-old John Crawford III in a Walmart after a witness called to report the young man was carrying a gun. Although the rifle was a replica sold in the store and Crawford did not point it at customers or police, a grand jury found the officers’ actions were justified.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout