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the guy puts the gun in the holster close-up

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Guns are not toys but unfortunately, toys can be guns and that conundrum has led to a lot of Black blood being spilled.

15-year-old Tavion Koonce-Williams recently became a victim of that difficulty after, according  to ABC7, a woman walking her dog called 911 to issue the following report:

“I was calling because I’m walking my dog and there is a guy walking down the street and he was aiming a gun at people’s houses. He pulled it out and was acting like he was going to shoot their houses,” the caller said in the audio of the 911 call.

Upon police arrival, the teenager was shot in the wrist by Ryan Westlake of the Akron Police Department in Ohio. As it turns out, the “firearm” that Koonce-Williams was openly carrying was a non-operational replica. The body camera footage of the incident has been released to the public.

Warning: Videos of this nature can be triggering. Please consider your mental health before watching.

Koonce-Williams’ family alongside attorney Imokhai Okolo have publicly called for Westlake to be terminated from the department. They content that Tavion was holding his hands up in the air in surrender when Officer Westlake opened fire within seconds.

“[He] is now grappling with the trauma of being profiled and having his life flash before his eyes after being shot,” Okolo said. “Tavion was shot on the inside of his wrist which clearly indicates his hands were up when he was shot.”

As he writhed in pain, Koonce-Williams told responding officers, “I’m a good kid, I get A’s in school, I play football”.

Officer Westlake’s police record is far from clean and that will surely weigh heavily in the court of public opinion if not the criminal court. ABC7 notes that he has faced numerous disciplinary actions as a result of his use of force and one of those incidents was deemed “unreasonable.”

We’ll have more information about this story as it becomes available.


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