Last Saturday, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with an airsoft gun at a playground in Cleveland, Ohio when he was fatally shot by local police.
The 9-1-1 caller told dispatchers that the weapon was “probably fake,” but police were sent to the swing set where Tamir was playing as a precaution. The responding officers ordered Tamir to raise his hands but he did not comply.
Instead he removed the gun from his waistband and that action resulted in the officers fearing for their lives and firing on young Tamir, striking him in the stomach and inflicting a wound that would end his life a day later.
Tamir never pointed his toy at the officers, nor did he make verbal threats. A spokesperson for the Cleveland, Ohio, police department issued a statement and said that the orange indicator on the airsoft gun had been broken off, which made the toy resemble a semi-automatic pistol.
The tragic death of a young boy at the hands of police officers has many people asking difficult questions. One of those people is the boy’s father, Gregory Henderson. He wants to know why police did not use a taser on his son instead of a gun.