Murder or Mistake?  Fatal Fake Gun Encounters

This week a grand jury declined to indict a Cleveland Police Officer who shot and killed 12 year-old Tamir Rice.  The failure to charge has expressed more anti-police sentiment and demands for better training for police officers.  Many are saying the officer got away with murder.  Emotions are inhibiting the ability to look at this objectively.

When police respond to a situation, they have the information that is provided by their dispatcher.  That is all they have to work with.  When an armed party call is put out, officers’ awareness level is increased.  Their response is based on what information they receive and what they see when they arrive on the scene.  Police officers are trained to respond to threats in a split second.  Their life and your life depends on that.

If the officers had received information that the gun was probably fake and the person was probably a juvenile, perhaps they would have taken a different approach.  Instead, they were given a “Code 1” (high priority) call and they pulled into the area to protect the public, not kill a child.


The top gun was the one Tamir Rice was carrying.

The most important thing that could have averted this tragedy was the orange tip that was removed from Tamir’s toy gun.  If that orange tip was there, the call may not have ever gone out.  If the orange tip remained on his gun, the officers would possibly had a “wait a second” moment and down shifted in their approach.

Kids have an innate curiosity about guns.  Many want to impress their friends by having the appearance of actually owning a gun. It a parent’s responsibility to teach their children about gun safety.  As a parent, you should not allow your child to leave your backyard with a gun that looks like a real gun.  As a parent, if the orange tip on your child’s gun has been broken off, you take the the gun from him.  If you don’t have a backyard for your child to play with his toy gun, then don’t buy him one.

Doctors prescribe the wrong medications and make the wrong diagnosis daily.  Many of these errors have fatal outcomes.  They are mistakes, not murder.  Opportunistic leaders want you to believe that officers are not allowed to make mistakes.  We accept mistakes from people who make $175,000 a year to keep you alive, but you can not accept a mistake from someone who makes $56,000 a year and is willing to die for someone they don’t know.  I’m not saying every police shooting is righteous.  You can’t just go by the video that circulates on the news.  There are factors that go into a deadly force situation that is not shown on a video.  Contrary to what the opportunistic leaders want you to believe, this is nothing new.  Lawmakers have been trying for years to find a solution.  People of all races have been shot by police and other citizens while possessing “toy guns”.  It’s not a black vs. white police issue.  Nevertheless, it is a problem.

Take a look at the story below.  It shows that this is an issue that lawmakers have battled with for quite sometime.  Tamir Rice’s death is a tragic loss.  His death should not be used to push agendas and other causes.  The Cleveland Police do need more training for their officers and the dispatchers.  You can’t train for everything.  There is not  a set way for police officers to do something and get the outcome that will make all happy.  Unfortunately, mistakes happen in police work.  The best way to combat this problem is information.  Learn your local laws regarding pellet/BB guns and talk to your child about owning and possessing one.   Hopefully parents will start teaching their children better.  Parenting is the first step to preventing tragedy.

Source: Andy Lopez Shooting: 13-Year-Old’s Death the Latest Fatal Police Fake Gun Mistake |