Police murder 15-year-old boy

Another school shooting occured Friday, only this time it was the friendly police doing the killing. After being warned at least two times that the gun was not real, police proceeded to gun the kid down:

Ralph Penley said when he arrived at the Milwee Middle school in suburban Orlando on Friday morning, he told Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies his son Christopher only had a replica pistol, CNN said. The boy’s younger brother says he told school officials the same thing.

I betcha not one of those officers gets so much as a slap on the wrist.

posted by disinter
  • Lisa Watson

    If you point ANY gun at police, EXPECT to be shot DEAD. Don’t blame the police. Blame the kid who brandished the pellet gun! The police cannot be expected to believe a gun is fake when it is pointed at them. The kid didnt’ put it down, he pointed it at police. now he’s dead. It’s HIS fault, not theirs. My sympathies to his families, and to the policemen forced into such a horrid situation by the stupidity of a 15 year old. He’s responisble for his death. The police were doing what they were trained to do, and what they are paid to do. They HAD to treat the gun as a REAL gun. If not, it could be THEM dead one day.

    Gads people, don’t use this as an excuse to go after police. Use this as a reason to teach young people to behave in a wiser fashion. The kid was acting stupid and it cost him his life. If he fell off a cliff while horsing around, would you blame the roof?

  • Lisa Watson

    Common sense dictates that if you point a gun at police, it doesn’t matter if your family says it’s a fake. You ARE going to get shot, and rightfully so.

    If you pooint a pellet gun at me, and I have a real gun, i WILL shoot you! I’m not a police person, just someone with the common sense to know this FARCE of calling it murder is insane. It was suicide by cop. how DARE anyone suggest otherwise? I feel for the policemen forced to kill someone because he was too stupid to put DOWN his toy.

    If you point it, I’m going to shoot YOU, even IF you call it a fake and a replica. I will protect my life against your stupidity.

  • Tim Smith

    No, I would blame the person who pushed him off. Kids are stupid and irrational. The police and the school officials had been told it was a bee-bee gun. Our police officers are supposed to be thinking adults, not gun weilding idiots.

  • Tim Smith

    Now, lets take this situation and change up the characters and place. Lets say someone was entering your home, armed with a pellet gun. In most states shooting him would be murder on your part. But, since an officer was behind the gun, we say it was in the line of duty.

  • http://aicap.org William Posey

    Police people are so poorly trained. There are 100 ways to disable a person without using deadly force. These non-deadly trainings are easy even for a policeman to understand. People who agree that in all cases the police are allowed to use deadly force understand nothing. It is a tragedy that we have sanctioned homicidal strongmen with the police departments of this country. At some point someone, somewhere has to have the courage to demand that our police people receive real training, real and actual intelligence and real humanity in the execution of their duties. Policemen who feel it is ok to use deadly force do so because americans seem to think it is ok. I am ashamed of everyone.

  • William Curr

    The ignorance in this country is at an all time high. We have more self-proclaimed police experts and home schooled lawyers than any other country in the world. I can’t help but read these blog entries and see so clearly the narrowminded approach that William and Tim have taken. They both speak with such authority and expertise on this matter. If you do some research it is not murder to shoot someone who enters your house with a very real looking gun. In fact it is justified and if you don’t want to be shot and killed by a homeowner don’t go out committing burglaries. And William, the next time you have someone pointing what appears to be a real gun at you, be my guest, shoot him in the leg and while he’s falling to the ground cross your fingers that he doesn’t get a lucky shot off at you. You guys are ridiculous! Sit back and wait till all the details are in. If it comes to light that something illegal took place let our system mete out the proper punishment.

  • Jose Lopez

    Once again, let’s change the situation: if you are a police officer who have filed several complaints against your bosses, and city managers, for abuse of authority, mismanagement etc., chances are you will be indicted for not using your common sense. I have been a police officer for over 25 years and have been there…..thanks.

  • http://www.internet-haganah.us/haganah/index.html Hugh Jardohn

    Many years ago in my firearms training we were taught a “rule of thumb” used to instill safety. “All guns are loaded”. Of course literally, a defective statement it still helped when handling any firearm. I might add a new, similar statement to fit the times, “There are no fake guns”. We are either going to allow citizens to bear arms in all situations and places or we’re not. Once the decision has been made to disallow the right to bear arms in a particular place by certain people, in this case children at a school, it becomes incumbant upon the parents to teach and the children to follow the rule.

  • http://staticbrain.blogdrive.com/ Static Brain

    It seems to me that the officer should have listened to the child’s father, and brother. But hey, that is Florida where they also arrest small children, and it takes three officers to cuff one small child. It seems to me that the police in Florida are either power tripping and don’t care who gets hurt, or else they are just poorly trained, probably both. It is a travesty of justice either way.

  • j.t.s.

    can we blame the trigger finger of the police after such horrendous events as columbine, moses lake, pearl, west paducah, stamps, jonesboro, fayetteville, ect. ect.? the “joke’s” on the dumb ass teenager who up to that point must have been laboring under the misconception that the brandishing of any kind of a fire arm in a public setting would not in turn bring with it dire consequences.

  • massimo

    If you point a gun at someone, you better use it, because if they are armed they’ll shoot first.

    Especially in Florida where the law supports just that.

    Who knows what the police knew or didn’t? Who knows what that officer knew or didn’t? No one could know for certain what kind of gun it was until after the event.

    One thing that everyone knows for certain, including the kid, is that that the officer did NOT have a pellet gun.

    The kid raised the ante by pointing a gun. Had he not done that he would be alive today.

  • http://aicap.org William Posey

    A good police department has very well-trained experts. Police departments rarely have these. The analogy of someone entering your house with a gun is simplistic, as this was not the case here at all. I am very well trained in security and violence issues and am a security professional. If my people ever behaved like these police officers there would in fact be hell to pay. Analogies about justifying violence come from people who are filled with fear and rage; such people should not be police officers or blame others in onterney blogs. The truth is simple, in a controlled situation, such as this one clearly was, the use of deadly force is an act of cowardice. Americans seem so terrified and love to justify violence. Naturally one can understand how the lives of people trapped in fear lead to justification of the the tactics of fear. Words are similar…the words from a person of honor usually promote peace or at least reasonableness. Murder of children at school is not warranted.

  • Steve Elder

    I’m with William Posey. Having gone a long way through Police training in my native New Zealand, police down under would almost never resort to this extreme in this sort of controlled situation. A well trained (physically and phychologically) team should have many other options available before the use of deadly force is justified.

  • http://www.lptexas.org Rock Howard

    I would not be so quick to judge this action so harshly. The kid had a hostage and his weapon was probably adequate for the task of executing his hostage at point blank range. The kid had demonstrated that he was willing to act and so disabling force was clearly required.

    Of course if the police could have disabled the kidnapper without using deadly force, that would have been preferable, but at this stage I do not know for certain about whether or not they attempted to do just that. I note that the kid was not killed instantly and may, in fact, still be alive at this point.

    It is way too early to call this a murder. Even if you are entirely correct and the police acted inappropriately, I can’t imagine a charge more serious than manslaughter. But even that is difficult to imagine when you consider that the life of an innocent person was apparently at stake in this situation.

  • James Denison

    There seems to be only one way to effectively stop our police forces from acting like hired killers and return them to being peace officers and that is to limit what actions we allow them to engage in. State laws which make it a felony for any police officer to deliberately take a headshot in ANY situation without prior governor signed approval might, just might reign in the gung-ho approach that’s developed over the past couple decades. Any police officer that feels he can’t abide such a restriction can resign, there will be others willing to take his place.

    Forty officers, with vests and probably body armor surrounding one lone schoolkid, even if he’s got a real gun, and then deliberately doing a headshot on him is an act of COWARDICE. Shoot to maim and disable, not to kill. If you can shoot well enough to make a headshot, then you can make almost any other shot as well. It remains to be seen if this will become state sanctioned murder.

  • bill wald

    I put in 30 years on the job with the Seattle Police Dept. Anyone pointed that looks like a gun at me I would have shot him and kept shooting until he was dead. A pellet GUN (pistol) is a gun (pistol).

    In Washington State one can kill any burgler who puts you in fear for your life. (don’t be afraid of people who are running away ) If you shoot someone make sure they are dead. Typical police training is two shots into each suspect.

  • Anonymous (aka Julian)

    Did I not read several times that the victim had modified the pellet gun by painting it black to appear to be a real pistol? Seems to me he acted on a plan if that is true.

    I am an ex-cop and a Vietnam infantry veteran. I was trained to shoot first if someone pointed a firearm in my direction. I believe the cops acted properly. I am sorry it cost such a young life. It is a tragedy. Now the investigation should begin to determine whether this boy was being bullied or whatever was happening to change teens behavior that leads to these incidents.

    Why do some of you people always believe all cops are somehow evil or control freaks? Try rethinking your position. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and am a practicing advocate. I believe most cops believe citizens should be armed as long as they are not convicted felons.

  • Stephen Gordon

    I heard the same story as Julian (from many sources). This is the first I’ve seen that the police might have known it was a toy. I’d like to see if there is more media coming out exposing this angle.

  • An officer

    I have been looking over the comments that have been posted. If you want to cast judgements on something you only know from the news, then your wrong. Can’t you wait to see what FDLE says first or do you believe everything you hear? It would be nice if the people posting here used a little critical thinking instead of going off the deep end. A correction,should someone break into your home and you believe that they are a threat and you kill them, it is not murder, its justifiable homicide. Some of you want to be lawyers need to do some research before you talk out of your orafice. By the way, if you shoot to injure, the threat is still there…the threat is just injured.

  • Stephen Gordon

    AO,

    What is FDLE?

    Speaking of justifiable homocide, why is Cory Maye on death row in Mississippi?

    I withheld writing this because I felt I didn’t have enough facts, but would have clearly qualified anything I written on it as either an opinion or as a quote from another source.

    I don’t know the truth of what happened, but can state that the track record of police departments hasn’t been all that hot, lately.

  • Bob

    UNLESS THE FATHER INSPECTED THE GUN HIS KID TOOK TO SCHOOL, THERE WAS NO REASON FOR POLICE TO GIVE MUCH WEIGHT TO THE FATHER’S ASSURANCE THAT THE GUN WAS FAKE.

  • Anonymous (aka Julian)

    An Officer

    1. I agree that what is reported is most likely full of errors. That is my experience when I have read or heard the news slants on what actually happened. Don’t always believe reporters.

    2. Never shoot to injure if your life is threatened, either as a cop or citizen in the self-defense mode. If you only injure the aggressor, then he is truly pissed off. Shoot to kill if you have to shoot as a last resort.

    That is what I was taught as a cop and as a legal licensed concealed pistol toting civilian.

  • disinter

    “Nation also said that Penley’s father told police before the shooting that his son’s weapon was not a real gun. The lawyer said Ralph Penley was not allowed on the premises when he arrived at the school Friday morning, CNN reported.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/?feed=TopNews&article=UPI-1-20060114-19481500-bc-us-studentshoot-1stld.xml

  • Stephen Gordon

    Mike, I caught that one. My immediate question is whether the cop(s) who shot knew. Depending on that answer, did the police heirarchy know in time to let the guys on the ground have appropriate intel?