Police Abuse

Cop Sees Teen with Fake Gun, Shoots Different Kid, Kindly Declines to Arrest Them (for Now)

Authorities still weighing options

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Reason
Jason Keisling / Reason

Let's see if we can follow the chain of events detailed in this Los Angeles Times story about a cop who shot a teenager because he was worried a second teenager was threatening the first teenager with a gun. (The gun proved to be fake.)

Around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, two officers were driving in the 7200 block of 10th Avenue when they spotted a group in an alley. A teenager was pointing what police thought was a gun at another person, Smith said.

So far so good.

Officers ordered the boy to drop the weapon multiple times, Smith said.

Okay. We will take the officers at their word, although lack of video makes it impossible to validate this claim. Recall that the cops who killed Tamir Rice and John Crawford initially made similar claims that were later contradicted by video evidence. In any case, the story continues:

When he didn't comply, one of the officers opened fire.

Yikes.

The teen holding the replica weapon was unharmed, but the 15-year-old boy standing next to him was struck, Smith said.

Really?

The officers detained everyone present and concluded the group were friends. "No animus" was involved, Smith said.

Well, good thing they sorted that out.

The teenager who was shot—wrongly, in the back—was taken to the hospital and has recovered from his injuries, which were not grave. And the officers declined to arrest either of the boys at the scene. All's well that ends well, then?

Not quite. The authorities are sill deciding whether to charge the other teen—the one holding the fake gun—with brandishing a lookalike weapon at an officer.

It's not yet clear if the officers who completely misjudged the situation, reacted poorly, and hurt an innocent person will face any consequences, either.

NEXT: Sheldon Richman on How Brian Williams and Others Helped Pave the Way to War

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  1. We will take the officers at their word

    Speak for yourself. I always assume an officer is lying unless there is both audio and video.

    1. Well… When they claim their marksmanship skills are so bad they hit the wrong person at close range, that I do find believable.

    2. It’s not unclear. The answer is “NO”.

    3. As i read it….sounded sarcastic to me….

      Okay. We will take the officers at their word, although lack of video makes it impossible to validate this claim. Recall that the cops who killed Tamir Rice and John Crawford initially made similar claims that were later contradicted by video evidence.

      sarcasm at its finest

  2. Wow. If this guy would have seen my toy arsenal as a kid he would have shit his pants. War was my favorite game as a kid.

    1. I hate that I’m at a point in my life where I’m saying shit like “when I was a kid…” but you’re right. We used to run around my neighborhood in Fairfax with all sorts of fairly realistic looking cap guns. No parents complained, no one felt threatened, no one got shot. No doubt a SWAT team would be called out today.

      1. I had wood and metal toy guns. No red tip or anything. Surprisingly I never got shot by the police.

        1. Yeah, but back then cops carried revolvers instead of military gear, and weren’t trained to be scared of everyone and everything. They actually served and protected back then. Today their job is to force people to obey, and kill anyone who doesn’t. That’s the only way to go home safely.

        2. Back in 1985 ish my friends an I were running playing war around a playground/school area in Lowell Ma (an impoverished welfare city that was a major center for Heroin trafficing) after dark.

          Someone saw us and called the cops.

          I was crouched down behind a light pole for cover with a realistic looking tactical shotgun toy (the lights were directional so anyone who approached across the school yard in front of me would be clearly lit and I was in the shadows behind the light) when all of a sudden everything behind me lights up and a cruiser pulls up right next to me.

          The cop takes one look at me laughs radios in that it was just a couple of kids playing Rambo and tells me to get my friends and go home.

          Had that exact same scenario played out today I am 90% certain that I would be a statistic.

          1. Lowell cops kill homeless people for sport.

          2. my friends an I were running playing war around a playground/school area in Lowell Ma

            joe? Is that you?

            [ducks]

            1. Rotfl nope, not Joe and while I grew up there so far as I know I never met him

              1. We’re you on the debate team? joe was the president! And his mom said he was the most handsomest boy in school!

                1. Nope, not on the Debate team but I was commander of our ROTC unit in my senior year.

                  That is till I resigned my post after our instructor (Major Ham, seriously that was his name) because he told my brother something and the message failed to reach me.

        3. Yeah, I had two great Springfield 1913 replicas that were given to me by a neighbor. Today, your neighbor is more likely to call the county ninja-wannabes and get you killed.

  3. Are we a nation of prisoners or zoo animals?

    1. Prisoners. Zoo animals have rights.

    1. Nah, if it was panic fire he would have missed everyone. His erection made it hard to aim straight, that’s why he hit the wrong kid.

  4. I assume the department will graciously cover the kid’s medical expenses.

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Yeah right. Only after a lengthy lawsuit.

    1. Yeah right. Only after a lengthy lawsuit.

      And even then only tax payers will pay the penalty. Tax support in any kind of institution breeds ethical corruption. It induces actors to act without regard for the rights of others.

  5. It’s not yet clear if the officers who completely misjudged the situation, reacted poorly, and hurt an innocent person will face any consequences, either.

    I think I know which way to bet, though.

    1. I wish a company like Intrade would be taking bets on things like this. I dare say that any cops, anywhere, facing any penalties, for any crimes, would yield an extremely high return for speculators on the rare occasions it happens.

      1. Shit you may even be able to get convictions that way when some prosecutor makes bank off sending a real criminal to jail once in a while to collect the pot, though i suppose he would have to launder the money to participate

  6. Why do I hear “Yakkety Sax” in my head every time I read one of these stories?

    1. Maybe this is why.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..rglar.html

      1. Now, *that* is funny!

        1. “Policing is serious business”

  7. They really need to go back to the Barney Fife rule: one bullet and carried in a shirt pocket.

    Or, stop hiring imbecilic, incompetent, pants shitting pussies.

    1. Even if they want to play war, I’d settle for don’t fire until fired upon.

      The fact that police ‘opened fire’ and did so on (unarmed) children is disgusting on a war crimes level.

      1. It’s to the point where anyone who doesn’t immediately obey, regardless of if the command is legal or not, is considered to be a deadly threat. Doesn’t matter if it’s a toddler or an ancient. Obey or die.

      2. Yeah I have argued this with cop lovers before.

        The cop has had at least some minimal level of tactical combat training. The target almost certainly has not

        The cop is almost certainly wearing body armor. The targer is almost certainly not.

        The accuracy of pistols in a tactical situation is suspect at best, especially in the hands of someone not well trained in their use.

        The lethality of pistols in an urban environment where advanced medical care is less than 15 minutes away is very low, even against unarmored persons.

        In a case like this the risk that all of the following are true are so small that they can be effectively discounted…

        The target is actually armed
        The target is willing and able to kill
        The target is willing to intentionally kill a police officer
        The target knows how to properly aim the weapon in a tactical environment
        The target does manage to aim it accurately enough to strike the officer
        The bullet strikes the officer in an unarmored area
        The bullet creates a lethal wound

        In otherwords the idea that it is simply too risky and an automatic death penalty to refrain from opening fire until AFTER being fired on for police officers is a bullshit lie.

        1. The target is actually armed
          The target is willing and able to kill
          The target is willing to intentionally kill a police officer
          The target knows how to properly aim the weapon in a tactical environment
          The target does manage to aim it accurately enough to strike the officer
          The bullet strikes the officer in an unarmored area
          The bullet creates a lethal wound

          It is my impression that cops are trained to believe that is someone doesn’t immediately and unquestioningly obey, then all those things are true.

  8. the officers opened fire.

    I, for one, am impressed that the gun did not magically discharge through seemingly no action on the officer’s part.

  9. Around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, two officers were driving in the 7200 block of 10th Avenue when they spotted a group in an alley. A teenager was pointing what police thought was a gun at another person, Smith said

    If two regular non-cops had misjudged and shot an innocent person, I’m sure they wouldn’t be jailed either.

    Not quite. The authorities are sill deciding whether to charge the other teen?the one holding the fake gun?with brandishing a lookalike weapon at an officer.

    The fact that they are even considering charges of (presumably) attempted murder, is mind mindbogglingly unjust. This is what cops do. They will kill your family and friends and then operate in bad faith to ruin your life just so that they can order lunch on time. Statism is evil masquerading as justice.

  10. The officers detained everyone present and concluded the group were friends. “No animus” was involved, Smith said.

    No harm, no foul. Carry on.

  11. The authorities are sill deciding whether to charge the other teen?the one holding the fake gun?with brandishing a lookalike weapon at an officer.

    Let’s not pretend, for an instant, the cops wouldn’t have charged the other teen with murder if the kid SHOT BY THE PANICKING COP had died.

    1. Not only that, but the cop’s conscience would be clear because he would honestly believe that it wasn’t his fault.

    2. SHOT BY THE PANICKING COP

      The fact that the cop actually hit anything indicates that he wasn’t really panicking at all.

      When they’re actually in full panic fire mode they can’t hit the broad side of a barn, so any story you read about a cop actually hitting someone/ dog, you can bet that they weren’t actually in fear for their lives at all but were perfectly calm, except for the raging boner they get from from pulling the trigger.

      1. The fact that the cop actually hit anything indicates that he wasn’t really panicking at all.

        I disagree. I’ve seen game killed by shots from unshouldered and/or unaimed weapons.

        Unless you would go so far as to imply that the officer wanted to shoot a kid unrelated to the crime involved, I’d stick with panicking. Surprised or unprepared might be better terms, but you’d probably be analysing gossamer at that point.

  12. The teen holding the replica weapon was unharmed, but the 15-year-old boy standing next to him was struck, Smith said.

    Nice shootin’ Elmer Fudd…

    It’s not yet clear if the officers who completely misjudged the situation, reacted poorly, and hurt an innocent person will face any consequences, either.

    Oh, I think we all know the answer to that question: paid vacations all around.

  13. And the officers declined to arrest either of the boys at the scene

    , preferring to get their stories straight for the later arrests.

  14. The authorities are sill deciding whether to charge the other teen?the one holding the fake gun?with brandishing a lookalike weapon at an officer.

    They’re making sure the first kid knows that if he sues, they’ll arrest the second kid.

    1. Great point. A silk glove on an iron gauntlet. Sometimes the depth of their sociopathy is deeper than I give them credit.

      1. This is what I am/was realizing above. Sarcasmic says ‘Obey or die’ but it’s worse than that.

        It’s a war. They needn’t wear uniforms or otherwise identify as being in the service of any sovereignty, they consider kids everywhere to be soldiers of an opposing army, they are openly offensive and hostile even to said kids, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that anything from soft persuasion to outright torture is on the table both on and off the battlefield…

        Dying might be a frequent or apt outcome but is largely easy for us and less useful to them.

        ‘Obey or else.’

        1. A while back after someone (not me) wrote a sarcastic letter to the editor asking the police to parade their military gear like the despots that they are, the mayor wrote a heated response.
          Basically he said exactly that. That it’s a war out there. That there is a subculture of cop killers with fully automatic weapons, and that for their own safety cops must assume everyone is the enemy until they prove otherwise.
          I then looked up officer deaths in that department. They’ve lost two officers in the last hundred years, the last one in the 90s. Yet they truly believe that shit.

          1. I’m sure they think this number proves that their policy is effective.

          2. The psychopigs preach the danger, yet they don’t even hit the top 10 dangerous jobs. They are nothing but cowards pretending to be men.

    2. Didn’t think of that. You’re probably right.

  15. The fact that the cop actually hit anything indicates that he wasn’t really panicking at all.

    I read it as, “Officer shoots wildly into a group of teens standing in close proximity, manages to randomly hit one.”

  16. anyone who doesn’t immediately obey, regardless of if the command is legal or not, is considered to be a deadly threat.

    Regardless of whether or not the command was intelligible, or whether or not the “suspect” even had time to process the command in the context of the situation.

    “Drop what?”

    *BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM*

    1. I’m going to guess that since they didn’t give the media a picture of the “replica weapon” it means that it wasn’t actually one of those air soft guns that could be mistaken for a real weapon.

      I bet it was actually a replica of one of those old flintlock pistols. Like this: http://cdn.rainbowresource.net…..054324.jpg

      And it was like Brooksie said. The kid was so stunned that a cop would draw down on him, he didn’t immediately obey. I bet he even probably started to try to show the cop that it was just a toy and that is when the cop shit himself and started blasting.

      “DROP IT PUNK!!”

      “Drop what? Dude it is just a toy, see?”

      *BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM*

      I admit it is all speculation, but since they didn’t release a pic of the replica, my guess is that the pic would have embarrassed them even more.

      1. it was a neon orange and green nerf gun

  17. Lol ‘completely misjudged’ … Because by sheer magick people can tell fake guns from real ones

    Ivory tower reasonoids who will likely never be confronted with a person pointing a fske or real gun at them or others never have to make these judgments.

    I was actually leaning towards ‘it looks fake’ in a recent case where a guy pulled a gun on me and pointed it at his own head

    He eventually pulled the trigger, ending my internal debate… And his life

    But I couldn’t be sure from a YARD away

    That’s how realistic airsofts etc are

    We had a call last year where a guy (not ignorant of guns… He had a CCW and was packing himself ) called in a found gun (in one of those ubiquitous ditches on the side of the road we have here for drainage)
    He was literally a couple of feet from it for 25 minutes or so and was convinced it was real

    Eventually upon arrival, it wasn’t until the officer picked it up that both realized it was fake

    Granted, for every person we shoot with a fake gun, there are tons of cases where we dony, but again.. You can have 100 incidents where we don’t shoot and no story of course

    No easy solution … But better marksmanship would be good !!!!!!

    1. Fuck off slaver

    2. Granted, for every person we shoot with a fake gun, there are tons of cases where we dony, but again.. You can have 100 incidents where we don’t shoot and no story of course

      And how many incidents of shooting someone with a fake gun results in prosecution for the cop? How often do regular civilians get a legal permission slip to err in the decision to shoot someone?

    3. Granted, for every person we shoot with a fake gun, there are tons of cases where we dony

      You know, it does little to dispel the ill will and animosity towards police when you graciously admit to we ivory tower plebians that you don’t shoot civilians as a matter of course.

      You probably let us eat moldy cake from our sterling silver on occasion too, right?

      1. Fake dunphy is fake.

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  19. So they shot a kid in the back and are considering prosecuting him for brandishing a weapon at an officer?

  20. Calling them keystone cops would be a disservice to the show, they are more like feral pigs on the rampage. They see something and immediately scamper in biting and shooting anything with a heartbeat. Thank goodness feral pigs can’t shoot well.

    The two feral pigs should be euthanized.

  21. Even by the standards of California,this story is unbelievable.

  22. America is now considered a free fire zone for american law enforcement. If my unit had these kinds of rules of engagement during multiple combat deployments not one single indigenous civilian would have been left alive.

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