[SMDH] Why Did Baltimore Police Shoot 13-Year-Old Carrying a Toy Gun?

[SMDH] Why Did Baltimore Police Shoot 13-Year-Old Carrying a Toy Gun?

The incident happened on the one-year anniversary of Freddie Gray’s funeral.

Published April 28, 2016

On the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s funeral, a Black 13-year-old ran from Baltimore cops after they saw him carrying what appeared to be a real gun. But police shot the boy before they discovered the gun was a fake.

Those police officers had no way of knowing it was not an actual firearm,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said during a press conference following Wednesday’s incident.

Turns out, it was a replica gun Davis described as a “dead-on ringer” for a Beretta 92FS and he’s placing the blame on the teen’s mother, who was questioned by police.

The mom knew that her son left their house with a replica semi-automatic pistol in his hand,” Davis said after revealing he’s a father of 13-year-old twins and couldn’t imagine allowing them to do such a thing. “I can’t wrap my head around that right now.”

The young Black teen, whose name has not been released, was noticed by two plainclothes detectives who were driving in the McKim Community Center in Northeast Baltimore on Wednesday.

“They identified themselves as police officers to this young man,” Davis said. “The young man took off on foot with the gun in his hand.”

He gave chase for more than 150 yards and police say he never dropped the gun. Witnesses said as officers demanded the teen to drop the gun he yelled, “It’s not real, it’s not real.”

Just after 4 p.m., the boy was shot in the leg and the arm by one of the officers. Neither of the officers’ names has been made public.

“One of our police officers discharged his firearm at the young man, striking him non-fatally,” said Davis.

The young black teen, whose name has also not been released, is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries. Unlike Gray who died at the age of 25 in police custody and was buried on April 27, 2015, the day the #BaltimoreUprising protests began occurring citywide. City officials, state leaders and community organizers declared Wednesday a Day of Reconciliation

The incident also comes just days after news broke that the city of Cleveland will settle the Tamir Rice shooting lawsuit by awarding the young boy’s family $6 million. The 12-year-old black child was shot and killed by a white officer while playing with a pellet fun outside a recreation center in 2014.

While the investigation continues in Wednesday’s Baltimore shooting, Commissioner Davis says he has no reason to believe his officers acted inappropriately.

“I stood right over top of the gun — and I’ve been a police officer for 25 years,” he said. “There’s no way on this Earth that I could tell you from looking at that gun that it wasn’t real.” 

Written by By Zayda Rivera

(Photo: Baltimore Police Department)


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