Police not at fault for shooting of 13 yearold boy
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 01:10
When 13 year old child is fatally shot by police, it’s tempting to rant about police brutality getting out of hand and condemn them for their actions. This is the wrong approach and a look at the details will paint a more balanced picture of the situation.
The first piece of context necessary to understanding the police in this story is a little context. The week of the event, there were two fatal school shootings. This really brings home the fact that we live in an age where minors commit gun crimes. This isn’t to say that this minor was committing gun crimes, but that it is reasonable that the police might be scared of a minor.
The second piece of relevant information is a law regarding toy and model weapons. According to title 15 of the code of federal regulations, model guns should have bright orange tips, orange barrel plug or transparent casing. This is put in place precisely so police don’t confuse
There is unfortunately an exception for airsoft and be-be guns, but it is still industry standard for these guns to have bright orange plastic around the barrels. The toys the boys were playing with did not have any orange on them. Thus, it is understandable for these very realistic looking face guns to be mistaken for real, even by the police who are educated on the differences.
With this context, it is understandable that the police believed that a 13 year old had a real AK-47 and possible desire to shoot. When the police called a warning, the boy pointed the guns at the police. While the boy’s death is tragic, the police’s behavior is understandable. This is a situation which, lacking a villain, is simply tragic as opposed to unjust.