The “official” Twitter account of the St. Louis County Police Department just posted what looks to be a rather dismissive statement on the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot and killed by police officers who allegedly mistook his toy “Airsoft” BB gun for a real gun:
The tweet above, however, looks like it just captured the first few words of this Facebook post from the Fenton precinct. The full post reads like a public service announcement warning parents of the danger posed by realistic toy guns along with tips on how to keep kids safe. Here’s the opener (we’ve highlighted the text that’s the same):
Kids will be Kids?
On November 22nd 2014, a Cleveland Police Officer shot 12 year old Tamir Rice who had his hand on an Airsoft pistol. The Airsoft pistol had the orange warning tip removed. I do not know all the details of the story; I encourage you to research reliable resources and educated yourself about the incident. This article is not about this a boy losing his life, whether this was a justified shooting or, whether the cops acted too fast. This is about the Fenton Precinct making residents aware of a “hot” topic and learning from this incident so Fenton never loses a child’s life.
If you or your children have an Airsoft or pellet gun please sit them down and talk to them about this tragedy. Your children should have rules for “toy” guns that mirror the rules of a real weapon. Pellet guns and Airsoft guns should not be allowed to be played with throughout the neighborhood, common grounds, or used to threaten or intimidate people. Pellet guns have no orange warning tip because they are considered weapons; Airsoft guns do have orange tip. Please inspect your child’s Airsoft gun to make sure the orange tip has not been altered or removed. These guns are very realistic.
Tweeters haven’t bothered to click the link, however, and are quite angry at the tone of what’s in the tweet, even though it’s only an excerpt:
In this era of heightened tension, is it too much to ask for the cops in St. Louis to be a little more careful with what they’re putting on their Twitter feed and for the protesters to not jump to conclusions so quickly if something looks offensive?
Twitchy coverage of Ferguson.