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Judge says boy did not aim at police. “We’re very pleased,” said Attorney John Picerno

 

Judge says boy did not aim at police
CHRISTINE VENDEL The Kansas City Star
PUBLICATION: Kansas City Star, The (MO)

SECTION: METRO

DATE: March 8, 2002

EDITION: METROPOLITAN

Page: B4
A juvenile court judge has ruled that a 15-year-old boy wounded by police in December did flee from the officer but did not point a weapon at him.
The officer said he had shot the boy in the face after the boy pointed the weapon at the officer’s chest. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.

The judge’s decision was made public Thursday. The boy’s trial was held Tuesday.

“We’re very pleased,” said John Picerno, the boy’s attorney. “We don’t believe he ever pointed the gun at the officer. The crime scene report was consistent with our story.”

Dale Close, the Police Department’s legal adviser, said the outcome of the juvenile case did not change the way the department viewed the shooting.

“Our review of the file still indicates the officer acted properly and in accordance with the law,” Close said.

The incident occurred about 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 30 at 25th Street and Jackson Avenue. Two police officers said they had been on routine patrol at the intersection when they saw two youths at the corner. The officer in the passenger seat said one of the youths had a gun in his right hand.

The officer jumped out of the patrol car and chased the youths. The officer said he had identified himself as a police officer and ordered the youth to drop the weapon. He said the youth had turned around and pointed the gun at him, so he fired. The bullet hit the youth in the chin.

The boy’s relatives and attorney said he had dropped the gun and was turning around to surrender when he was shot. Picerno said the officer’s statements were inconsistent with the crime scene report, which showed the BB gun had been found at least six feet behind where the boy was lying.