Screenshot via Columbus Division of Police
A police officer from the Columbus Division of Police taught an 11-year-old and 13-year-old boy a valuable life lesson: They can’t walk around town flashing what appears to be a real firearm because it may just cost them their lives.
On Saturday, October 13, Officer Peter Casuccio received a call about two young men carrying what looked like a firearm. Once he spotted the boys, he drew his weapon. The youngest of the two immediately dropped the gun he had to the ground. As soon as it bounced off the sidewalk, Officer Casuccio knew what the call was about: a BB gun.
The encounter, caught on Officer Casuccio’s body camera, reveals what goes through an officer’s head once a call of this nature is received. It also shows how the officer graciously handled the situation and turned it into a life lesson the boys will never forget.
In the video posted to YouTube by the Columbus Division of Police, Office Casuccio scolds the boys, saying, “This is getting kids killed all over the country” as he shows them their BB gun.
He then describes to the boys the call he received.
“They call in and say there’s two young male blacks…They look really young, and they just flashed a gun,” he explains.
Incredulous, the officer asks who they showed the BB gun to. One of the boys replies that he didn’t show anyone but says he was carrying it by his side.
“Okay, you can’t do that, dude,” Officer Casuccio states. “In today’s world, listen, that thing looks real, bro.”
After a handful of apologies from the boys, Officer Casuccio agrees that they should be sorry and scared. The video then shows the boys saying they thought they were going to get shot.
“Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old? Do you think I want to shoot a 13-year-old? Do I honestly look like the type of dude that wants to shoot anybody?” Officer Casuccio asks.
This situation could have quickly turned deadly for the young boys as Cleveland police officers responded to a similar call in 2014. But, unlike this one, that call ended tragically. That time, Tamir Rice, another young black boy, who was just 12-years old, was shot and killed by police after officers received a call saying, “There is a guy with a pistol. It’s probably fake, but he’s pointing it at everybody.”
The pellet gun taken from Tamir Rice can be seen below.
AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File
After one of the boys’ mom arrived on the scene, Officer Casuccio talked about how law enforcement cares about the safety of those it protects and that no officer wants to see innocent, young people unnecessarily hurt or killed.
“Regardless of what people say about the dudes wearing this uniform, okay, we care. We legitimately care,” he says.
“The last thing I ever want to do is shoot an 11-year-old. Because your life hasn’t even gotten started yet, and it could have ended,” Officer Casuccio concludes. “Because I wouldn’t have missed. I could’ve killed you. I want you to think about that tonight when you go to bed. You could be gone. Everything you want to do in this life could’ve been over.”
Watch the body camera footage in its entirety below.