The shooting dead by police in Cleveland of a 12-year-old boy brandishing what turned out to be a replica gun has sparked an investigation into his death and a legislator’s call for such weapons to be brightly coloured or bear special markings.
The boy, identified by the Cuyahoga county medical examiner as Tamir Rice, died from his wounds on Sunday, a day after officers responded to a 911 call about someone waving a “probably fake” gun at a playground.
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 safety indicator had been removed, police said. | The Guardian
State Representative Alicia Reece of Cincinnati announced Sunday that she will introduce legislation to require all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft guns sold in Ohio to be brightly coloured or have prominent fluorescent strips. It is modeled after a bill signed by California Governor Jerry Brown.
Reece, president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, said she is introducing the bill in response to the fatal shootings of the boy and 22-year-old John Crawford III. It could help “prevent future deadly confrontations,” she said in a statement.
A Cleveland area BB gun police shooting by a rookie cop has turned into a fatality after a 12-year-old who was carrying the toy replica has died.
A boy shot by Cleveland police Saturday died at MetroHealth Medical Center. CBS affiliate WOIO reported the 12-year-old's mother, Samaria Rice, has appointed an attorney to represent her family in the matter.
Both police officers involved in the case have been placed on administrative leave.