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View Diary: It's just a toy (116 comments)

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  •  No, the family should not be held responsible (6+ / 0-)

    I have met them. They are nice, hard-working people, Mexican migrants who do not speak English, who are working very hard and doing very well with few resources to have raised a very fine, well-mannered boy with good grades and good ethics in an area which is filled with a fair amount of drug use and gang banging crap: Andy was a kind of nerdy trumpet player who didn't even have a mustache yet.

    And I can think of a hundred times I have seen children playing with toy guns in the fields out there. Officers in area are well aware of this. Even if the gun had been real, they shouldn't have shot to kill. If there's a problem with that, then that's on California State and the fact that toy guns are entirely legal, but then again, so are real guns.

    Their parents are in Hell right now.

    The entire community is.

    And Andy did NOT point the weapon at anyone: he was just turning around, for anyone who wants to know what actually happened. Also, my understanding is that he was listening to his iPod and didn't hear the officers, but that's hearsay.

    The truth will come out in time, and this area has a long history of officers killing a high rate of civilians, so I can't really say that the problem seems to be "toy guns." I can say that the problem seems to be overzealous officers who seem to target minorities and the mentally ill.

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    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 10:43:33 AM PDT

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    •  Thanks for adding some of the details (6+ / 0-)

      Some folks here have decided that since I asked the question I must have an answer for it, but I don't.

      Since I don't exactly live in an awesome neighborhood myself, I question the desire to have a toy gun around when that's what can happen. I understand it wasn't even Andy's parents who had it (that other family must be suffering too). But kids will be kids and they shouldn't die for making choices like kids.

      Based on what you have to say here, though, I suspect all the parents are in hell now, and as for the police...may have to wait for a legal remedy there, if there ever is one. Thanks for filling us in on what the police are like there, and the shooter in particular. The town police chief was a mentor for me as I grew up, so it's possible I am biased in judging cops. I was trying to not pre-judge them.

      Guns don't kill people. People kill guns. -- this message brought to you by the Night Vale chapter of the N.R.A.

      by tytalus on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 11:15:12 AM PDT

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      •  Yes, I work with future police daily (5+ / 0-)

        in my teaching.

        Toy gun in rural California? Pretty common. I'd wager that these officers had all played with them too, and also, that they were darned used to seeing them around this area since the kids play with them, period. This is all a powderkeg. You'll see how it turns out. There's never any justification for a grown man who is a sworn officer of the law to shoot a child, not only fatally, but to continue to shoot the child after he has fallen to the ground: that is an officer who is too emotionally/psychologically unstable to deal with wielding guns himself. Especially as a 24-year veteran officer with 7 years of field training experience, he sounds skittish. And for that, this boy was killed. A little boy.

        Look at this protest and note the age of the protesters (this is at the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office yesterday):


        Andy wouldn't have probably known he was even in danger. He was reported to have been a good kid and not very familiar with police at all, so he wouldn't have been threatened by them or any such thing. If anything, he likely trusted them. But his self-conception was that of a child. He was not even in high school yet. The man who killed him was a grown adult who had been sworn to protect the community, and who could have disarmed the boy countless other ways. Instead, he not only killed him, but he continued to shoot at the boy's corpse while horrified neighbors watched. Read that again.

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        by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 11:59:56 AM PDT

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