US police shoot 13-year-old boy carrying fake pistol in Baltimore

Published 28.04.2016 17:37
Updated 28.04.2016 17:52
A replica handgun was recovered from the scene which is pictured (Baltimore Police Dept. Facebook)
A replica handgun was recovered from the scene which is pictured (Baltimore Police Dept. Facebook)

Baltimore police shot and wounded a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a replica handgun on Wednesday, the anniversary of a riot sparked by a black man's death in police custody, a police official said.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told reporters near the scene of the shooting that two officers spotted the teenager carrying what appeared to be a firearm, identified themselves and gave chase when he ran away.

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of rioting in Baltimore following the death of unarmed black man Freddie Gray while in police custody.

"This is exactly what our community expects a police officer to do when they see someone with a firearm," Davis said. "Why this young man chose to flee on foot when he was approached by two Baltimore police officers, I don't know."

Davis said the teen's injuries were not life threatening.

U.S. witnessed nationwide protests against police brutality, which first took place in Ferguson, Missouri over the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was fatally shot by a police officer in August 2014, and later in Baltimore in the wake of peaceful demonstrations over the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015, questions have been raised regarding the existence of systemic injustice and racial discrimination against people of color in the U.S.

In Baltimore, violent clashes took place between police and angry crowds on Baltimore's streets after the funeral of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was fatally injured while in police custody.

Similar events took place in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American male, was shot dead after an altercation with Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white male Ferguson police officer. Wilson was not indicted by a grand jury on any criminal activity in relation to killing Brown. During the Ferguson protests, many police officers and the demonstrators were injured.

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