Cleveland, November 24 (RHC)-- A 12-year-old African American boy carrying a toy gun in the U.S. state of Ohio has died after a Cleveland police officer opened fire on him. The shooting took place outside a recreation center on Saturday afternoon. The boy, Tamir Rice, died from his wounds on Sunday morning.
Cleveland Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said police received a call warning of someone pointing a gun at people outside the Cudell Recreation Center. He said that the boy was told to raise his hands, but he refused to comply with the orders and reportedly reached for his gun that turned out to be a toy replica.
Tomba said one officer fired two shots after the boy pulled the fake gun from his waistband, admitting that the boy had not pointed the "weapon" at police. The injured boy was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday morning.
An audio recording released by police indicates that the caller had said the boy was Black and his gun was probably fake. Black community leaders have long complained about racial profiling, harassment and improper stops of African American residents by white officers from U.S. police officers.
The fatal shooting of Michael Brown on August 9th has reopened a fierce national debate on race and police brutality in dealing with minorities. The tragic incident also sparked weeks of angry protests in Ferguson and other major cities across the United States.
According to human rights activists, African Americans are far more likely to be fired upon, arrested and imprisoned by police than any other racial group.
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