Will it ever end? Just yesterday, a 12-year-old Cleveland boy died after police shot him in a public park, reports the Chicago Tribune. The reason: he was holding a toy gun.
The victim, Tamir Rice, was playing at a Cleveland park on Saturday when police received a 911 call reporting that a child had a gun. The caller said that the gun was “probably fake.” Police arrived and ordered Rice to put his hands up, which he did not. It was then that officers shot him in the torso. He was taken to a local hospital, but died early Sunday morning.
“Why not taze him,” Rice’s father, Gregory Henderson, told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. “You shot him twice, not once, and at the end of the day, you all don’t shoot for the legs, you shoot for the upper body.”
As of right now, the two police officers who were involved in the shooting are on administrative leave.
Rice’s death followed the tragic killing of Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old Brooklyn man who was fatally shot by police last Thursday night. He was unarmed.
CBS New York reports that Gurley and his girlfriend were leaving her apartment when the couple decided to take the stairs instead of waiting for an elevator. Officer Peter Liang, who was patrolling the stairway, immediately fired, hitting Gurley once in the torso. It was reported that the stairway was dark and that Liang already had his gun drawn. No words were exchanged. Gurley’s death has been ruled a homicide, and Liang has been placed on modified duty.
“This is the deadly consequence of the increasing militarization of the police, from New York City to Ferguson and beyond,” said a statement from a New York-based protest march.