The mother of a Chicago teenager doesn’t buy the reason that police officers say they shot her son:
Chicago police officers said they had no choice but to shoot a teenager after shots were fired at them late Wednesday, but the victim’s family said it’s a case of mistaken identity.
Tykwon Davis’ family admits the 17-year-old has had some problems — he’d recently been released from juvenile jail — but they’re adamant the boy didn’t point a gun at officers and say his injuries prove that.
“He didn’t shoot the police. They shot him,” Davis’ mother, said Willette Middleton, told NBC Chicago outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where the teen was in critical condition at 6 a.m. “They shot him five times, for no reason, in the back.”
Middleton said her son was running away from gunfire when he was hit.
It is true that Davis did not shoot CPD officers. The question is whether or not he attempted to shoot officers.
The firearm and cartridge cases recovered at the scene may reveal Davis’ fingerprints, and of course, gunshot residue (GSR) tests will determine whether or not he actually fired a weapon as police claim.
As in other cases, it is frankly irrelevant whether officers shot Davis from behind. If he fired shots at police and then turned to run officers were still well within their rights to open fire, as any other person defending themselves would be. An armed man turning to run may simply be attempting to improve his position to continue his attack.
Officers said they were conducting a traffic stop at about 11 p.m. on the 5100 block of South Wood Street, in the city’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, when they saw two males shooting at each other from opposite sides of the street. The officers saw the muzzle flashes of the gun, according to Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Pat Camden.
When the officers approached and announced themselves, one of the males turned and fired a handgun in the direction of the officers, police said. That’s when they fired back.
Officers claim to have recovered a firearm at the scene of the shooting from Tykwon Davis.
Attempting to defend his son, Davis’ father may have provided the best commentary about this and other officer-involved shootings that we’ve heard in a while.
“The police always say when they shoot somebody they killed, ‘Oh, he pointed a gun at the police.’ C’mon now. Out there in the world, how many times do we got to keep hearing this same thing over and over again: ‘He pointed a gun?’ said Tyrone Davis. “Only somebody that’s really stupid is going to point a gun at a bunch of police officers.”
Tykwon Davis, like so many of the other young men who have made the news recently, has had prior run-ins with the law.
Pardon me if I withhold judgement on whether or not he’s “really stupid” until we hear the results of the gunshot residue tests.