Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Texas Police Shoot Down 15 Year Old With BB Gun in Middle School Hallway: Excessive Force?

It's a big national news story today: a fifteen year old boy with a pellet gun was shot down in his Middle School hallway by Texas police this morning.

Jaime Gonzales is Dead Tonight and Lots of People Are Asking Why

Just last week we were pondering how out of control Texas law enforcement officers are getting to be in a post entitled, "Texas Cops Shooting Citizens All Over the State This Month: Excessive Force? Overstressed Officers? Three Dead From Police-Issued Bullets." Now, we're wondering how truly serious this situation may be.

Cops Shoot 15 Year Old to Death Down in Brownsville: Excessive Force?

Down in Brownsville, it seems that the police were called to Cummings Middle School shortly after classes started. It's not clear how many officers arrived on the scene, but students are reporting that Jaime had entered a classroom and punched another student in the nose. Why this causes a bunch of police to appear isn't clear.

What is known right now is that Jaime took a pellet gun to school this morning. Which was not the smartest thing to do, that's a given.

However, for the Interim Police Chief to tell the media that a boy waving around a pellet gun was sufficient justification to shoot the child to death - well, you gotta wonder. There a big question right now about whether or not the force used here was excessive.

Middle Schoolers Are Known to Bring BB Guns to School - Jaime's Not the First

This isn't the first time a Middle Schooler got the bright idea of bringing a BB gun to school (a pellet gun is more commonly known as a BB gun), check out this school administration web site discussing a previous, similar event up in Ohio.

This is a real tragedy and condolences go out to the family and friends of this young life cut short. Let us hope that one result of this death is increased scrutiny on Texas law enforcement and whether or not Texas cops are getting a bit gun-happy these days.

For more on excessive force/police brutality, check out our resources page where Texas law on this issue is discussed.

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