Another tragedy involving police and a black kid, only twelve years old. Will it ever end?
On Saturday afternoon, Cleveland police shot and killed a 12-year-old boy in a playground after mistaking his “airsoft” toy gun as a real weapon, an official at the MetroHealth Medical Center confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
The boy has been identified by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner as Tamir E. Rice, of Cleveland. Rice was shot in the stomach and torso after police responded to reports that a young black boy was waving a gun in the playground of a recreation center.
Police said that officers opened fire at the boy after they asked him to put up his hands and he instead reached for the BB gun. The family’s attorney, Timothy Kucharski, confirmed that Rice went with friends to the park on Saturday but had no further details about the shooting.
Initially wounded, Rice went into surgery on Saturday night, the police said in a statement. His condition deteriorated overnight, and he died on Sunday morning in MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.
And of course, police were called to the scene because he was allegedly 'waving the gun around'.
“The preliminary information reveals that witnesses reported that a male was in the playground area of the center, waiving [sic] a gun and pointing it at people,” police said.
“Upon arrival on scene, officers located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands. The suspect did not comply with the officers’ orders and reached to his waistband for the gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso.”
The “airsoft” replica toy gun shoots pellets in a similar fashion to a BB gun. Cleveland police reported that an orange indicator meant to distinguish the toys from real guns had been removed.
I wonder what witnesses called that in, because if they're anything like the deranged caller who was directly responsible for John Crawford's death, then it's less likely that Rice was waving the gun around and more likely that someone invented a story to get a black kid killed.
[Photo Credit: WEWS News Channel Twitter account]