St. Louis Co. Police Take On Cleveland Shooting — It’s As Bad As You’d Think

AP

The St. Louis County police were taking heat Thursday morning for social media postings about a fatal police shooting not in Ferguson, Missouri, but in Cleveland.

The county police department tweeted out (and later deleted) a post from the City of Fenton Precinct’s Facebook page titled “Kids will be Kids?” that commented on the death of Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old who was shot last month by a white Cleveland police officer who mistook his toy gun for a real weapon.

“This article is not about this a boy losing his life, whether this was a justified shooting or, whether the cops acted too fast,” the post, which has also since been removed, read. “This is about the Fenton Precinct making residents aware of a ‘hot’ topic and learning from this incident so Fenton never loses a child’s life.”

The post goes on to advise parents to talk with their children who have toy guns about the importance of knowing how to respond should a police officer approach them.

“If the type of gun is in question by the witness, the Police will respond as though it is a real gun until it can be confirmed one way or the other … the police will respond lights and sirens and come to a screeching halt in the area where your child is playing with the gun,” the post continued.

Asked by a Guardian reporter whether the post was inappropriate, a St. Louis County Police Department spokesman identified the officer who wrote the post but said he hadn’t read it:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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