It’s apparently not just BB-guns that can get little kids shot by the police these days. An 11-year-old African-American boy in Illinois was recently arrested by police who drew and aimed their guns at him, all because he was playing with a toy gun.
Police claim that they were “completely justified” in handcuffing the boy, and aiming their weapons at – ready to shoot him if he made the slightest “wrong move.”
The police say that one driver claimed the toy had been pointed at him, and that this justified more or less any and all militarized police response by the Granite City Police Department.
The 11-year-old, Chris Fulton, says he never pointed the gun at anyone but his friends, because they were outside playing – using their imagination.
Just as in the case of Tamir Rice, 12, in Cleveland, Ohio, this gun was a toy. But the police say none of that matters.
“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 claimed.
But Fulton told St. Louis’ KMOV News 4 that things happened very differently than what police claimed.
Fulton explained that the only people he aimed the toy at were his friends, and that’s because they were playing make-believe. They were outside playing a game not unlike “cops and robbers” that children have played for generations with toy guns.
But these days, the overzealous, militarized police reacted by showing him despite what children’s games might pretend, the police aren’t always the good guys.
“I was fake shooting with my brother and others,” Fulton said to News 4.
“I never did threaten anybody, not at all.”
Police Chief Miller says that officers saw the toy gun in Fulton’s front pocket.
“As they pulled on the lot they did not know his age, they did not know it was toy,” Miller claimed. You can see from the video that Fulton clearly looks like a child. This is not a 17-year-old who looked like an adult, this is an 11-year-old child. There is no legitimate way the police could have mistaken him for an adult.
Miller acknowledged that police hadn’t read Fulton his Miranda rights. In fact, he said that “everything” Fulton’s mother has said is true. He says the police were under no obligation to read the boy his rights.
Fulton told News 4 that he was terrified by the ordeal, saying “they pointed a gun at me, and took my finger prints.”
Now he’s being charged and will head to juvenile court. If the charges are not dropped or beat in court, he will have a juvenile record. All for going outside and playing with his friends.
(Article by M. David and Jackson Marciana)