"My eyes are still swollen and my head still hurts," King’s sister Marshay Caldwell said. "He’s really not coming back."
A white Ohio police officer, Bryan Mason was responding to a report of an armed robbery when he spotted a Black teen, Tyre King pulling out what looked like a weapon, and therefore the officer opened fire and killed the boy. It turned out the boy was holding a BB gun.
The incident happened on Wednesday. King was shot multiple times after the officer believed he was pulling out a weapon from his waistband.
“We consider it a tragedy when something like this happens,” Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs told a news conference. “This is the last thing any police officer wants.”
Mason, a nine-year veteran, was placed on temporary administrative duty until an internal investigation takes place. The officer reacted badly to the situation; an officer with experience such as his should have handled it better.
King’s family has called for an independent investigation into the case because many witnesses’ reports are in stark difference with the officer’s version of the incident. “The family is obviously distraught by the murder of Tyre,” attorney Chanda L. Brown said in a statement. “They are shocked and indicate the actions described by the police are out of his normal character.”
It’s been almost two years since Tamir Rice was also fatally shot by a Cleveland, Ohio police officer for holding a BB gun. The officer was responding to a report of an armed suspect in a city park when he saw Rice holding a replica gun with plastic pellets, but proceeded to kill the boy.
The police chief Jacobs said that a grand jury will in due course, decide whether Mason will face criminal charges or not.
The young boy’s name has become another hashtag in a long list of Black victims killed by police officers. The use of lethal and deadly force by officers when dealing with Black people is utterly dreadful. The unfair brutality of Blacks has to stop. We await the investigation into the case and hope the officer is punished accordingly.