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Police Kill Ohio Boy Holding Toy Gun; Legislators Act

The Short of It

A Cleveland boy, Tamir Rice, was shot dead after officers responded to a 911 call about someone waving a "probably fake" gun at the playground. The 12-year-old died a day later from his wounds. This incident is prompting legislators to reevaluate current legislation on toy guns.

The Lowdown

A man called 911 and told dispatchers that a boy was on a swing set and pointing a pistol that was "probably fake" and scaring everyone. The boy was pulling the gun in and out of his pants.

Officers arrived and fired twice after the boy pulled the toy gun from his waistband but never pointed it at police. The gun was missing the orange safety indicator that is usually found on the muzzle of toy guns.

The officers saw the boy sitting at a table and told the boy to raise his hands, but he grabbed the toy pistol and put it in his waistband, and that's when the officer fired.

The officers on the scene had not been told that the gun might be fake. They were under the assumption that it was real. The gun was an airsoft type toy gun that resembled a semi-automatic handgun.

The Upshot

The entire situation is unfortunate. A young boy is dead, and the officers involved are on administrative leave and will forever have to live with the consequence of their actions. A small silver lining is this tragedy has prompted lawmakers to introduce legislation that will require all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft funs sold in Ohio to be brightly colored or have fluorescent strips.

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