Here's How Cleveland Police Handled a BB Gun Incident in May

Spoiler: It Ended Very Differently Than In Tamir Rice's Case

On May 21 of this year, Patrolman Aaron Reese responded to reports of a man pointing a rifle at cars on Superior Avenue near 86th Street, according to a news story published today. When he arrived and apprehended the suspect, he realized he was dealing with a child and that the weapon was just a BB gun.

Fox 8 ran this story today, reminding their audience of an incident that began with a response resembling the Nov. 22 call about 12-year-old Tamir Rice waving a gun around at Cudell Rec Center. The latter ended in tragedy; the former ended differently.
The officer brought the boy home to his parents, who didn’t know he had a gun. The boy was not criminally charged, but officers wanted to make sure the boy understood how dangerous his actions were, so he was ordered to write a letter letting them know what he learned.

“I was stupid to have a BB gun that looks real enough to may have been shot and killed by anyone who saw or carried a real gun,” the letter stated. “I was also stupid to walk down the main street with it. I should have just kept it with my brother’s friend and shouldn’t have touched it at all. Even though I was walking, I was thinking in my head what if I get caught also what if I get killed. I am sincerely sorry for having the gun.”
How about that.

Scene has formally requested the May 21 police report to look into the details of this incident. We'll update this story as needed.
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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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