A day after the first death anniversary of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man who died of a spinal cord injury shortly after his arrest, two plainclothes detectives in an unmarked police car pursued and shot a 13-year-old boy carrying a replica gun.
The boy suffered what police called non life-threatening injuries to “lower extremities,” after the intelligence officers surveying the area wrongly assumed he was holding a semiautomatic pistol. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis claimed the boy gave the cops “a chase for about 150 yards” before one officer shot him.
The Baltimore Sun has identified the boy as Dedric Colvin, an eighth-grader at City Springs Middle School in East Baltimore. His mother, Volanda Young, reportedly admitted she knew her son had left home with a replica gun. The police have taken her in for questioning.
“This is a replica, semi-automatic pistol, and I looked at it myself today; I stood right over top of it. I put my own eyes on it. It's an absolute, identical replica,” said Davis, insisting it was not the officers’ fault. “Those police officers had no way of knowing that it was not, in fact, an actual firearm.”
He also said the cops had told the kid to stop but he did not listen. Considering the police have shot kids for much less in the past (read: Tamir Rice), it is not hard to believe the teen thought it was better to run away than entrust his life to those chasing him through the streets.
“I promise you that our special investigations response team is comprised of top notch, experienced detectives who realize the importance of their investigative responsibilities,” Davis added. “Investigating police-involved shootings is a sacred obligation of this police department and we're gonna get it right. Then we're gonna communicate that back to our community.”
Despite what the authorities claim, in the city where tensions between the law enforcement agencies and the civilians are already running high, an incident of this sort is just a continued sign of time rather than an unfortunate coincidence.
One year later, and seems every step we take to rebuild trust between officers and community, a new incident shatters that trust. #Baltimore— Joshua Harris (@HarrisForBmore) April 28, 2016
I don't have the energy to do a thread of videos, pics, articles where gun toting white men were taken into custody unscathed #Baltimore— TariqTouré طارق تورى (@TariqToure) April 28, 2016
White men with real guns don't get shot by police like black children with toy guns do.— Brittany Packnett☔️ (@MsPackyetti) April 27, 2016
And this, on the "Day of Reconciliation"#Baltimore
This is Tamir all over again.#Baltimore— Brittany Packnett☔️ (@MsPackyetti) April 27, 2016