A Baltimore police officer shot a man to death last Saturday. The officer, who was not on duty at the time of the shooting, claims that he thought the man was pointing a gun at him during a robbery. However, the man was only holding a toy gun.
According to Police Lt. Ryan Frashure, "It appears that this is a robbery gone wrong and the officer fired in self-defense ... No officer wants to kill anybody much less use his service weapon if he doesn’t have to. This was just an unfortunate series of events."
Demanded the Officer's Wallet
The officer was approached as he was exiting his vehicle during the early morning hours on Saturday. The officer was not wearing his uniform after just completing his shift. The toy gun wielding man asked for the officer's wallet.
Officials say that the officer's story is credible. They found a realistic looking toy gun at the scene of the shooting. It was a black toy revolver. Also, they say that the man who attacked the officer was homeless and he was previously convicted of drug charges and assault.
The police department that employs the officer offered its condolences to the family of the deceased man. Police Lt. Frashure said that they feel badly for this to have happened so close to the holidays.
Many Feel Toy Guns Should be Banned
Debates over gun laws have hit the United States by storm. Some are also debating about the need to ban toy guns as well. In fact, a lot of states and cities have banned realistic toy guns because they often incite shootings out of self defense by police officers and other individuals with real guns. For example, last November, a law was passed in Boston that bans realistic-looking toy guns from being used in public places. Boston officials believe that toy guns should be banned because of the numerous mass shootings that have happened around the country.
According to Boston State Representative Dan Cullinane, "No one, especially a police officer who has the burden of making a split second decision, should ever have to guess if a gun is real." Boston police have confiscated 150 fake guns so far this year.
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