An 11-year-old child in Granite City, Illinois, was arrested at gunpoint this week while playing outside with toy guns with his brothers and friends.
“They pointed a gun at me and took my fingerprints…” Chris Fulton, 11, told KMOV.
“How did you feel?” Their reporter asked.
“Scared.” Fulton replied.
The child explains that he and his siblings were playing, pretending to shoot each other with airsoft pistols that did not even have any plastic balls loaded in it.
“I was fake shooting with my brother and others,” Fulton said.
A driver called the police to report that two black boys were crossing the street “slowly” and pointed the toy weapon at him when he told them to hurry up.
The child maintains that he did not point the toy at him.
When police arrived, Fulton was on his scooter with the toy gun in his pocket.
“The juvenile in the green shirt pointed what appeared to be a real gun as he walked towards the sidewalk,” Granite City Police Chief Richard Miller told KMOV.
Police do not deny pointing their weapons at the child and claim that they did not know his age or that the gun was a toy.
His mother intends to sue the department and wants all charges against her son to be dropped – as she does not want him to have a juvenile record.
However, KMOV, the only corporate news site to report on this incident, did not mention what charges the boy is facing.
And while this is another example of a terrible injustice, it is still a relief he did not get killed.
On October 22, 2013, in California, 13-year-old Andy Lopez was executed in the street by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus. The child also had a toy gun, but the orange plastic tip was missing.
As Gelhaus approached the child from behind, he ordered Lopez to drop the airsoft gun. When the boy, likely confused, began to turn towards the officer, he fired eight shots at him. It was approximately 16 seconds from the time Gelhaus approached him, until the boy was shot dead. His lifeless body was then handcuffed.
More recently, a police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014, made global headlines. The child was also playing with an airsoft gun, missing its orange plastic tip, in a park in Cleveland, Ohio.
Someone at the park called 9-1-1 to report that a male was pointing a “pistol” at people, but noted that the weapon was “probably fake,” the caller also reported that “he is probably a juvenile.”
Within two seconds of police arriving on the scene, the child was shot in his torso. Neither of the officers who responded administered any first aid. The child died in the hospital on the following day.