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Old October 24, 2013, 11:24 AM   #1
Kimio
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13 year old boy tragically shot by California Police

Truly a sad story, and my heart goes out to the boys parents. Apparently the boy was walking to his friends house to return a replica AK47 pellet gun that he had borrowed, police arrived (I'm assuming someone called police fearing he was carrying the real deal, from another article the pellet gun did not have the mandatory orange cap from the looks of it) and commanded the boy to put down the weapon.

Supposably when he was turning towards the officers he was raising the rifle, and the LEO's opened fire, fearing for their safety.

This is why we must stress safety I think, be it with a toy or a real firearm, there is a reason those orange caps are on these kinds of toys. I don't know enough about what happened during the encounter to really judge whom was in the wrong to be honest, it can go both ways in this case I think.

Links to several different news agencies covering this particular case.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/24/justic...led/index.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_1...e-father-says/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/1...n_4152819.html
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Old October 24, 2013, 11:56 AM   #2
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This is a tragedy. I don't know what happened but I'm pretty sure the cop wouldn't have shot if he didn't feel the gun was real and the kid was likely to shoot. He should have warned and we may never know the truth about whether one was issued.

I know as a parent I would feel a great deal of the responsibility. Some of these play replicas look real, especially from a distance. People carrying them should be taught to treat them as real. The kid is dead and his family as well as the officer will have to live with this as best they can.
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Old October 24, 2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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At around that same age, I played airsoft with my friends. We all had our automatic rifles and most of us had some kind of pistol. We dressed in whatever BDU we could scrounge together at Army/Navy stores and played wherever we could find enough woods.

I had to do a bunch of research to convince my parents to let me play and one of the things that surprised me was how common these incidents were. Yeah, ours all had the blaze orange tip (mine was the entire flash hider of my MP5) but I don't expect someone to see that from a distance or the heat of the moment. One thing that was drilled into my head on airsoft forums was "If the cops are called and tell you to put your weapon down, don't talk or tell them it's fake. If you're holding your $1200 SystemA authentic reproduction M4 training rifle and they tell you to drop it, you drop the sucker on the ground as fast as you can and put your hands up." Who knows if this is what happened? Maybe they ordered and he didn't hear them or he froze up out of fear.

I also knew a couple of kids from a local high school who were arrested after they climbed onto a billboard and pointed their airsoft rifles at cars, but that's an entirely different stupidity.
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Old October 24, 2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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I don't know it seems like these incidents are happening more and more. Being 13 years old I would bet that the kid froze and from the article I read (from a local TV station) the cops opened fire immediately. Any of you combat vets know that that during the heat of battle fire discipline is tough. Everyone wants to get rounds on target. If 10 cops show up they all start firing at the same time. There has got to be a better way.
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Old October 24, 2013, 06:11 PM   #5
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No orange caps on pellet guns....

... Because these are considered firearms and not toys in California.
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Old October 24, 2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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The kid has his back to them and probably had no idea what they were yelling. He turned to see what was going on and they shot him. I saw a photo of the gun taken from 2-3 feet. It looked fairly realistic from that range. From farther with less time to decide I would not have been able to discern it was not real.
I read it was a "BB" gun. I am not sure I support metallic BB guns having orange barrels. Airsoft guns either for that matter.



Tragic mistake.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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This is a tragic incident, and prayers for ALL those involved and affected by it.

It is a symptom of the problem we have had for some time. Can't say for sure if it is getting worse, or if media coverage only makes it seem that way, but something seems to be making it worse (as in more frequent).

There have always been incidents of police mistakenly shooting. People have been shot, often killed, holding everything from a toy gun to a TV remote control, or their wallet.

Invariably, the officer(s) thought there was a gun, and believed they were in danger. Not finding fault with their actions, based on what they "knew" at the moment of shooting. Everyone here believes in the right of self defense, and even though it is the cops job to put themselves in positions of risk, they have every right to defend themselves, as do the rest of us.

BUT

It seems to me that today, the police are quicker on the trigger than they used to be. This shooting is just one example. Sure, I wasn't there, no punk in a hoodie was pointing an AK at me, I have the luxury of taking all the time I need to decide. SO, I'm not judging the right or wrong of the officers involved. But what I am going to judge are the situations and reactions overall that result in this kind of tragedy.

The specific facts are important, but also important is the overall perception of the police that these shootings create, and reinforce. Particularly among those people with enough life experience to remember when things were different, overall.

As I see it, were are now (and have been for some time) a complete 180 degree opposite from where we once were. At one time many police agencies required officers to actually be fired on, before they were allowed to shoot. Tell that to most people today, and they shake their heads in disbelief. The common response is "well that was just stupid.." or something similar.

Certainly this policy resulted in cases where officers were killed or wounded needlessly. Sometimes it resulted in situations where criminals escaped the police.

Today the "rules of engagement" are much changed. Weighing all the benefits and all the detriments, are we all being better served today?
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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Wow that is tragic. My heart goes out to his parents, and the parents of the boy, and the boy himself, he was delivering it to as I am sure they feel somewhat responsible. I know I would.

EDIT: Prayers for the officer(s) involved too. Man this is a sad, sad story.

WW2 that makes me really angry if its true. Who knows if an Orange cap would have saved this childs life. Living in California in its current state makes no sense to me. No surprise business is leaving the area at an alarming rate.

Last edited by ripnbst; October 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
It seems to me that today, the police are quicker on the trigger than they used to be. This shooting is just one example. Sure, I wasn't there, no punk in a hoodie was pointing an AK at me, I have the luxury of taking all the time I need to decide. SO, I'm not judging the right or wrong of the officers involved. But what I am going to judge are the situations and reactions overall that result in this kind of tragedy.

The specific facts are important, but also important is the overall perception of the police that these shootings create, and reinforce. Particularly among those people with enough life experience to remember when things were different, overall.
How understanding would we be if the tables had been turned, and an armed citizen shot a cop who appeared to be a threat? Would it be a tradegy, with a few "I'm sorrys", or would someone be spending their life in prison?
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Old October 25, 2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Somehow, I really don't believe the account told by the Officers. I think they over reacted, shot the kid before the kid knew what was happening and they are now covering their butts.

The simple act of carrying a GENUINE rifle in public should never be a crime; certainly not one where the cops need to go into mall-ninja-swat mode.
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Old October 25, 2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Cops are jumpy no doubt, but how many articles have I read about very young kids killing others? Geez, we got a murder case here where a girl and her brother killed some folks, she was upset cause he took her first kill from her.....

With this mind set on the streets and the amount of guns....

Tragic yes, cops maybe need some more trainingf? and calif should make them put orange tips on them guns that are now powder projectile type weapons.

We had toy 6 shooters for sure, but not one cop would ever mistake them for the real deal.


shot him 7 times....... My boy is 11, he carries around his bb guns out in teh country where we live. Sometimes he has a bow or his 410 or his 22.....
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Old October 25, 2013, 08:07 PM   #12
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According to one report, from the time the police radioed "suspicious person with a gun" until the last shot was fired was 10 seconds. And in that time, it was reported that the officers hit the lights, blipped the siren, exited and took cover behind their cruiser, before ordering the suspect to drop the gun.
Draw you own conclusions.

No one is saying it isn't a dangerous profession. Cops have every right to be nervous.

But impression being created by this, and other incidents is that if the police think you have a weapon, and they do not see instant and total compliance they shoot.

These things always seem to happen very fast. When innocents get shot, clearly we see, after the fact that it was too fast.
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Old October 25, 2013, 08:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans
...The simple act of carrying a GENUINE rifle in public should never be a crime;...
Nonetheless, where this incident took place it is a crime. What "should be" is irrelevant.
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Old October 25, 2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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LIsten people get real.

It was a bb gun/pellet gun. Under all rules its a firearm, just like that .357 magnum in your nightstand.

Everyone over the age of 3 should be smart enough to know that if you point a gun at a cop your going to get shot dead right there. and looking at the information that is what happened. Yes it sucks,b ut it happened. No one would cry if it happened to an adult.

They followed simple standard procedure.
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Old October 25, 2013, 10:11 PM   #15
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officer's actions are judged by what they knew at the time, not what they found out afterwards.
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Old October 25, 2013, 10:21 PM   #16
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You can look back at my previous posts and see I am not easy on law enforcement. For instance I will point out that according to Osha stats the job is NOWHERE near as dangerous as most cos would lead you to believe(same goes for firefighters).

But, as said above a bb gun is a gun and this one looked like an AK. I can't find fault with the police.

My house is currently being invaded by camel crickets following the first cold snap of the season. Some quick reading online suggested I use an airsoft gun to eliminate the pests so I dug mine out. Fancy schmancy MP5ish thing I bought in college when I was single and "disposable income" was more than a term in a personal finance book. I'm the kind of guy who keeps manuals and I couldn't help but notice the manual says not to be used by minors without adult supervision. We can say "lawyer talk" "liability nonsense" all we want, but at the end of the day had a guardian been present this likely would have gone another way.

I have carried BB guns on private property as a minor without adult supervision. It was private and we were never allowed within sight of roads(fear we would hit a car with a miss more than fear of police).
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Old October 25, 2013, 10:32 PM   #17
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also, in michigan,a nd most jurisdictions if you act like an airsoft toy is a real gun, the legal system treats it like a real gun. Ie, if you put it in a shoulder holster, wear it, put a coat on and get arrested for jay walking. the cop who arrests you will charge you for carrying a concealed weapon unless you have a chl permit.
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Old October 25, 2013, 10:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezoar
LIsten people get real.

It was a bb gun/pellet gun. Under all rules its a firearm, just like that .357 magnum in your nightstand.
Actually, that's rarely the case. In fact, according to these guys only 4 states define or treat "non-powder" guns as firearms and California isn't one of them.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:09 PM   #19
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Brian? You do know that Those Guys were known as LCAV (Legal Community Against Violence - A San Francisco anti-gun attorney group) before they morphed into the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV)?

Not saying they are wrong in the webpage you linked to, just be careful of what you pull from this site.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:10 PM   #20
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Yes, I used that on purpose, figuring if anybody should think that a BB gun is a firearm, it'd be them. Even they acknowledge that almost no one does.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:17 PM   #21
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A sickening tragedy!

Prayers out to family and officers involved.

I think the #7 post by 44Amp sums things up fairly well.

There was a time that an officer could most likely complete his/her LE career and never clear leather under stress one time.

There was also a time that it was very seldom heard of that a juvenile committed a serious violent crime as well. Let alone be involved in a shooting.

Sadly, in both instances, those days are gone.

Just look today at the juvenile's that are taking guns/knives to school killing students and staff. Just this week here in Ohio we had a juvenile kill a teacher.

A 'google' search of juveniles from ages 10-17yrs old committing murder especially at schools will turn up so many hits that it seems to have become an epidemic.

LE are the ones responding to these situation many times observing the aftermath and seeing firsthand that a child can kill ya just as fast as an adult.
Did LE react in this situation to quickly? Don't know I wasn't there.

But I bet we can all know for sure that the cop/cops that pulled the trigger surely did not look forward to doing it and will be haunted the rest of his life.

I've got family in LE that deserve to go home to their families each night.

I've got many g-kids and nephews very close to the age of this boy that deserve to reach adulthood.

You bet this Papa/Uncle will be showing these youngsters this article doing his best to educate them. It's my responsibility.

Again, prayers to the family and officers involved.

Last edited by shortwave; October 25, 2013 at 11:29 PM.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:45 PM   #22
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Just another piece of the puzzle - evidence that our world is collapsing piece by piece and inch by inch. This was unjustified murder.

When cops would shoot a kid in a civilian neighborhood - lack of criminal or hostile intent, that's pretty bad. Not long ago, cops were out to serve and protect. Now, the overwhelming attitude is, "I'm coming home tonight no matter what." That is a dangerous attitude.

Heck, I am intimately familiar with the rules of engagement in war, and the way that kids behavior was described that's not even hostile intend. Soldiers in Iraq would have been prosecuted for murder doing what these cops did.

And I'm sure the cops have stricter ROE than Soldiers in war.

Anyone paying attention sees the totalitarian direction our nation is marching toward: the war on drugs, no-knock raids that get innocent people (and pets) killed, unlawful arrests and detentions, etc.

It's getting very scary.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:51 PM   #23
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This was unjustified murder.
how so?
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Old October 26, 2013, 12:02 AM   #24
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Real gun, or not, legally a gun or not, that only comes into play after the fact.

As I have said before, perception is important, and creates its own reality. Recent cases where police have "mistakenly" shot people are creating an impression, and that is, that the response of officers to their perception of a weapon is "DROPIT!DROPIT!BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG" in the amount of time it takes you to read this, and less time than it took me to type it.

ANY weapon.

It seems that the police are shooting, before commands can be understood, let alone complied with. In this most recent shooting, I believe the age of the child did play a part. 13year olds are not noted for being the most diligent about safe gun handling. And, on top of that, the boy knew he wasn't holding a real gun. The officers, of course, did not.

The report said his back was to the police. Kid hears a shout behind him, maybe he hears the blip of the siren, maybe he sees the reflection of the lights, he turns, and the rifle looking "toy" or "pellet gun" (immaterial which, at this point, it looks like a gun), turns with him. Police see someone turning to them with a gun, likely perceiving it as being pointed at them, and fire.

In another case, fairly recent, a officer sees a man on the street with a knife. He approaches the man, from behind, shouts for him to drop the knife, and as the man turns, shoots, and kills him. Only two rounds, that time, one in the back and one in the side (so later reports said). The guy was known to the locals, a middle aged street person who made and sold woodcarvings, who was also partially deaf. The officer, apparently knew none of these things.

There are others, and we can analyze them at length for their faults, but one thing seems to have become a familiar common element, and that is the officers involved are shooting without being actually threatened.

The say they were threatened (and who wouldn't?), I'm sure they believed they were threatened at the time. I'm not faulting anyone for shooting when they believe their life is in danger. What scares me is the level of training, experience, confidence, street savy, or whatever combination of things it is that allows an officer to correctly assess a situation in the brief time they have seems to be lacking all too often.

For a drastic comparison, back in the early 1970s (and I am going entirely from personal memory here, so if I make small errors, please bear with me), in northern NY a killer murdered three teenage campers. Tied two of them to a tree and stabbed them repeateded (57 times for the boy, as I recall) third body found a couple weeks later down an old mine shaft.

The cops, and a lot of the rest of us went after the guy. The manhunt went on for weeks during that summer in the Adirondacks. He was armed, with a .30-30 and a shotgun. He was seen by the police several (3 at least) times. The police could not catch him in the woods. And they could not shoot him.

Because, at the time the police were forbidden to shoot, unless shot at. And each time they spotted the guy (and he spotted them too) he never shot at, or even pointed his gun at the police, and managed to escape on foot.

He was eventually spotted and taken down by a CO (Conservation Officer aka Game Warden) who hit him with some of several shots of buckshot. CO's at the time were NOT under any departmental restriction about having to be shot at before shooting. The killer survived, and went through his trial in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. He wound up being sent to a min security place, downstate.

I bring this up to illustrate the huge difference in SOP between then and now. I am currently of the opinion that the best SOP for the police should be somewhere between these two extremes.

Oh, and the killer? seems he wasn't as paralyzed as he made out. One night he went over the wall. He was found a few days later, in a patch of woods. According to what we heard at the time (don't know the real truth), the autopsy said he had been shot. 37 times. With at least 5 different calibers. No officers were involved, and as far as I know, no one was ever arrested for killing the killer.

back on point,
I don't know if a different kind of training would help, no one, wants to put our officers at extra risk, and even having a detailed set of rules of engagement might mean risk from indecision and hesitation on the part of an officer in a dangerous situation.

These incidents of officers making bad snap judgments seem to be happening more often. Maybe its the Internet effect, I don't know. What I do know is it makes the cops look bad, and that only makes their jobs more difficult and dangerous.
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Old October 26, 2013, 01:27 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP
It seems that the police are shooting, before commands can be understood, let alone complied with. In this most recent shooting, I believe the age of the child did play a part. 13year olds are not noted for being the most diligent about safe gun handling. And, on top of that, the boy knew he wasn't holding a real gun. The officers, of course, did not.
I agree. And I believe it is institutionalized. I know it is in my state -- at the academy, they teach cadets to demand and to expect instant compliance with their orders. They are not taught to "discuss," they are taught to order. If the subject does not "comply," they are taught to escalate the order in a louder, firmer tone of "command voice." And once they enter "command voice" mode ... it's all over. ANYTHING the "subject" does after that, if it's not instant and total compliance with the order -- even if the order is illogical and illegal -- is deemed to be at the least obstructing justice and more probably threatening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
The report said his back was to the police. Kid hears a shout behind him, maybe he hears the blip of the siren, maybe he sees the reflection of the lights, he turns, and the rifle looking "toy" or "pellet gun" (immaterial which, at this point, it looks like a gun), turns with him. Police see someone turning to them with a gun, likely perceiving it as being pointed at them, and fire.
That's the way I figured it. The kid probably heard a voice saying "Drop the gun," and turned to see who they were shouting at. Couldn't have been him, 'cause he wasn't carrying a gun. (At least, not in his mind.)
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