Calif. deputy waited 3 seconds before shooting boy with toy rifle, lawsuit claims


spaminator
#1
Calif. deputy waited 3 seconds before shooting boy with toy rifle, lawsuit claims
Ronnie Cohen, Reuters
First posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 07:11 AM EST | Updated: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 07:23 AM EST
SAN FRANCISCO - A northern California sheriff's deputy shot a 13-year-old just three seconds after ordering him to drop a plastic replica of an assault rifle, the boy's parents claimed in an amended civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Erick Gelhaus, a veteran deputy and firearms instructor, killed Andy Lopez as the eighth grader was walking near his home in the wine-country town of Santa Rosa in October carrying an imitation gun he planned to return to a friend, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The Oct. 22 shooting sparked an FBI investigation and continuing protests.
At least two people at the scene moments before the shooting said the 5-foot, 3-inch teen looked like a child carrying a toy gun, the complaint says.
Police said Andy was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt when Gelhaus spotted him holding what appeared to be an assault rifle. After the deputy ordered the boy to drop the gun, the teen turned toward Gelhaus, who saw the barrel of the gun rise and fired eight shots, authorities said.
In November, the boy's parents, Sujay Cruz and Rodrigo Lopez, filed a federal lawsuit against Gelhaus and Sonoma County. The suit accuses the deputy of violating the teen's civil rights and seeks unspecified damages.
On Tuesday, attorney Arnoldo Casillas filed an amended complaint with additional details about the incident.
"From the time that the deputies called out to Andy Lopez until the time that Gelhaus fired his first shot, only three seconds elapsed," the suit says. In an interview, Casillas said the information came from two witnesses to the incident.
The suit also says that deputies knew the boy would respond to the order to drop the gun by turning to face them. The suit does not say how they knew that, but Casillas said that it would be typical for someone who is not a criminal to turn toward the sound of a police officer shouting.
There was a second deputy on the scene in addition to Gelhaus.
The complaint goes on to allege that Gelhaus, a 24-year deputy who served 10 years in the military with a stint in Iraq, shot "indiscriminately."
Several shots missed the boy and struck a house, the suit says.
Neither Gelhaus's attorney nor Sonoma County responded to requests for comment on Tuesday.
Authorities are continuing to investigate Andy's killing, Santa Rosa police Lieutenant Paul Henry said Tuesday.
Andy Lopez Cruz holds trumpets in this undated family photo released to Reuters on October 24, 2013.

Calif. deputy waited 3 seconds before shooting boy with toy rifle, lawsuit claims | World | News | Toronto Sun
 
Most helpful post: The members here have rated this post as best reply.
DaSleeper
+5
#2  Top Rated Post
Which is the real and which is the toy .........and imagine yourself in a real situation with nothing for comparison like this photograph...


 
captain morgan
+1
#3
I'm curious about exactly 'who' was counting-down the time between the cop's order and the gunshots.
 
shadowshiv
+1
#4
They make toy guns that look far too realistic. I had a water gun that was shaped like an Uzi. If i was running around with that (particularly with the gun violence due to assault rifles in the news lately), I can see why the police might mistake it for a real weapon.
 
gerryh
+2
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Which is the real and which is the toy .........and imagine yourself in a real situation with nothing for comparison like this photograph...



The one on the right, obvious as hell, unless you're a trigger happy idiot. Obviously this moron is too damn scared to do his job when he can't take the time to assess the situation properly.

Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

They make toy guns that look far too realistic. I had a water gun that was shaped like an Uzi. If i was running around with that (particularly with the gun violence due to assault rifles in the news lately), I can see why the police might mistake it for a real weapon.

They made toy guns that looked "real" when I was growing up. The difference between then and now, the cops are too damn scared for their own skin and don't take the time to assess the situation and make sure they aren't killing some innocent kid. They don't because they know if they make the mistake, they can get off because of the idiots that give them the out.
 
Walter
#6
24 years as a deputy says a lot about experience. I think there is a lot more to this. Who are the witnesses?
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

The one on the right, obvious as hell, unless you're a trigger happy idiot. Obviously this moron is too damn scared to do his job when he can't take the time to assess the situation properly.



They made toy guns that looked "real" when I was growing up. The difference between then and now, the cops are too damn scared for their own skin and don't take the time to assess the situation and make sure they aren't killing some innocent kid. They don't because they know if they make the mistake, they can get off because of the idiots that give them the out.

In theory this is why they are trained. One of the things I assume they would be trained for was telling the differences between real and toy guns that otherwise would be missed.

The toy guns I have got our son usually have a pink plastic piece on the end of the barrel. I am not sure if this is law but this would be helpful if it was. We made him throw his away when the pink end piece came off.
 
DaSleeper
#8
You gotta remember the hoodie factor in all this..........
 
karrie
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Which is the real and which is the toy .........and imagine yourself in a real situation with nothing for comparison like this photograph...

If replica guns without indicators (like the orange plastic tips that are common), are legal in the area, then officers can not justify shooting a child due to the presence of a perfectly legal toy.
 
L Gilbert
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Which is the real and which is the toy .........and imagine yourself in a real situation with nothing for comparison like this photograph...


The one on the right is the real deal. If the toy actually looked like the real thing instead of looking like a toy, I would have a problem, like the cop did, but the toy looks like a toy to me and I am far from familiar with assault arms.
 

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