As a nation anxiously awaits a decision from a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri on whether a white police officer will be indicted for shooting and killing an unarmed black teenager, attention also turns to Cleveland, Ohio where a 12-year-old boy, who refused to drop a BB gun was fatally shot by a rookie officer.
Tamir Rice is the Cleveland boy who lost his life after refusing to obey a command to drop a BB gun that police say they thought was a real weapon.
Police were called to a recreation center over the weekend and found Rice holding what appeared to be a large caliber pistol. An officer shot the boy in the stomach Saturday afternoon when he refused to put down what turned out to be an airsoft-style replica. The boy died Sunday morning.
Most airsoft-type guns are made with bright orange tips so they’re not confused with real guns. Police say the orange tip was removed from the gun the boy was holding. This case and another case at an Ohio Walmart store where a man was killed in the aisle by police while he was holding an air rifle, is prompting a lawmaker to call for BB guns and other air rifles to be brightly colored. Read more on the fall-out of this boy’s killing HERE.
Back to Ferguson…
The grand jury will continue weighing evidence as it decides whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson will face charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The 12-member panel is set to re-convene again today after not making a decision that many were expecting on Friday. While a precautionary state of emergency remains in place, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson says they are prepared for whatever happens. The August death of the unarmed African American teen sparked several nights of violent protests and looting. While that city is on edge, Indianapolis is preparing for peace. Reverend Charles Harrison with the Ten Point Coalition has recruited 100 volunteers to help dissolve anger when the announcement comes down.