Columbus, Ohio- Back-lash and praise had the Columbus Ohio Division of Police release a video in which an officer stops two black kids with a BB gun and berating them, calling the situation a “lesson learned”
The officer has been praised by some for his de-escalating the potentially dangerous situation. Last year in Cleveland, Ohio; twelve year old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by police while playing with an airsoft gun .
The incident started when a call came in for “two young male blacks” with a gun. “This is getting kids killed all over the country,” Officer Peter Casuccio tells an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old after stopping them on Saturday. The Columbus Division of Police released Casuccio’s bodycam footage, blurring the faces of the boys.
“In today’s world, listen, that thing looks real, bro,” Casuccio says after taking the BB gun from the 11-year-old.
The boys respond to the officer with a few “yes, sirs” and an apology.
Later on in the video, the 11 year old’s mother is addressed by the officer. The mother responds, “He could have shot you for that. You know that?”
Danyelle Solomon, Senior Director on Race and Ethnicity at the Center for American Progress says it could have been “handled differently” and the “scared-straight” and “racially-coded” language(“boy” and “hombre”) were unnecessary.
Willie Williams, the region 3 president of the National Black Police Association, said he thought Casuccio handled the situation “great.”
“He explained to them that he could have used deadly force but did not because they listened and also because he is not out to shoot people, let alone a 11-year-old and 13-year-old,” Williams said.
Video courtesy of the Columbus Ohio Division of Police via Youtube