Boy With Air-soft Gun Shot By Fresno Police Officer Near East Magill Avenue and North Effie Street
FRESNO, CALIFORNIA (August 3, 2023) – A 15-year-old boy was injured after being shot by a Fresno police officer near the intersection of East Magill Avenue and North Effie Street.
Fresno police officials are saying that the incident took place around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. An officer was responding to a different call when he was alerted to a person on a scooter about a block away.
The officer encountered a 15-year-old suspect wearing a ski mask. At some point after encountering the suspect, the officer ordered him to get on his knees and put his hands up.
It was shortly after this exchange that the 15-year-old boy was shot. Officers later determined that the child only had an air-soft gun.
Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the child. He was taken to the hospital in order to receive treatment. Irene Gomez is a neighbor and said her kids are friends with the injured boy.
She told reporters that she believes that this was all a huge misunderstanding. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Fresno Police Shootings
Far too many people are killed or seriously injured every year in police shootings. According to Statista, “Sadly, the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States seems to only be increasing, with a total 555 civilians having been shot, 75 of whom were Black, as of July 25, 2023. In 2022, there were 1,097 fatal police shootings.” There are a number of steps that police departments should take in order to prevent police shootings.
- Police officers should be trained to de-escalate encounters with suspects.
- Police officers should determine if a suspect may be in the midst of a mental health crisis.
- Police officers should be equipped with less-lethal alternatives.
The ability to use lethal force is one of the most consequential powers that police officers are entrusted with. Pursuant to California Penal Code 835(a), “the authority to use physical force, conferred on peace officers by this section, is a serious responsibility that shall be exercised judiciously and with respect for human rights and dignity and for the sanctity of every human life.” When a police officer uses excessive force and injures a suspect, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim.
Sadly, there have been a number of instances where children with air-soft or replica guns have been shot by police officers. On November 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing outside with a replica toy gun. A police officer shot him almost immediately after arriving at the scene. Tamir Rice later died due to his injuries. The officer that shot him was previously deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty. The boy’s family eventually reached a settlement with the Cleveland police department. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any police shooting.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Body camera footage from all officers involved should be sought.
- The actions of the officer prior to the fatal encounter should be understood.
- A thorough investigation should be conducted.
According to California Assembly Bill No. 392, the “totality of the circumstances” leading up to a fatal encounter can determine whether or not an officer’s use of force was reasonable. Any person that is injured due to the excessive force of police officers may have legal recourse. It is crucial that evidence is properly preserved after any incident. Evidence is what will ultimately be used to determine liability.
Investigating Fresno Police Shootings
We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our best wishes to the child injured in this Fresno police shooting. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened.
Do you need more information about a Fresno police shooting? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We focus on helping people who have been the victims of police abuse. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.