WESTPORT (CBS) – They look identical to the real thing. It’s what confronted police in Cleveland in the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy who was said to be waving a BB gun before police arrived.
It took a tragic turn that Westport Police Detective Jeff Majewski says is a “split second” decision by law enforcement. “I would challenge anyone to think differently that if this was pointed at you, or in your general direction, you’d never be able to know it was a fake,” he says.
Majewski was handling a “fake” glock that Westport police had confiscated, what he says is a frightening example of the dangers inherent with look-a-like weapons.
“This is very real in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the maturity or even in the hands of a criminal,” Majewski says. “We’re not going to know it’s a fake.”
Toy or fake weapons are supposed to have orange identifying markers that are easily altered or removed. The BB gun in Cleveland did not have the marker that police say was removed. Majewski says police in Massachusetts are able to use lethal force if the person holding the weapon has the ability to do harm, the opportunity to do harm, or if the officer feels his life is in jeopardy.
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