US policeman kills African-American teen armed with air gun

Ohio, Sep 17 (IANS) A white police officer fatally shot an African-American teen robbery suspect in capital city Columbus, Ohio, after the boy pulled out an air gun, media reports said.

Responding to reports of an armed robbery, a police officer shot 13-year-old Tyre King, multiple times on Wednesday during a police confrontation, after he drew what looked like a handgun from his waistband.

Chief Kim Jacobs, speaking to reporters at a news conference on Thursday, held up a photo of the type of gun found at the scene and said “Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to this weapon.”

“It turns out to not be a firearm in the sense that it fires real bullets, but as you can see it looks like a firearm that could kill you,” USA Today quoted Jacobs.

Jacobs identified the officer who shot King as Bryan Mason, a nine-year war veteran. He will be placed on leave for at least a week during the investigation.

“There are allegations that have been made regarding his actions, and those allegations cannot be taken as factual until a thorough, unbiased investigation has taken place,” lawyer representing King, Sean Walton told CNN.

In other cases of black people being shot by the police, in July police shot dead 37-year-old Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, while 32-year-old Philando Castile was fatally shot by police in St. Paul, Minnesota, the next day.

This case has also drawn a sharp comparison with the November 2014 killing of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy, who was shot by a police officer in Cleveland.

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 23 states and the District of Columbia regulate non-powder guns and 11 of them place age restrictions.

–IANS

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