Police has allegedly shot at car containing 5 black children in Waycross, Georgia at around 8am on Saturday.
Georgia family reported that on their way back home from Walmart, 5 siblings (ages 9-16) were followed and shot at by police officers. Out of fear, the oldest brothers had told their 3 younger siblings – ages 9, 12 and 14 – to get out of the car and run home to get their father. However, upon seeing the children run away, a police officer reportedly shot at the unarmed minors. The youngest child, a nine-year-old boy, has claimed that the officer fired at least seven bullets, one of which had gotten close to the minor’s head.
In addition to this, Daily Mail has reported that a second officer was called as backup while the first followed the three children.
The second officer is said to have approached the car from the front and to have fired at the vehicle after it had driven towards him; following this, the two oldest siblings (ages 15 and 16) had jumped out of the car while it was still in drive. After hearing the gunshots, the first officer had returned to the scene and the 3 younger children had successfully ran away.
Waycross Police Department in Ware County, Georgia is under fire after allegedly shooting at an unarmed 9-year-old and 12-year-old. 😳 pic.twitter.com/MIRxVaPZDp
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) August 8, 2020
The two oldest siblings were arrested.
According to the Sun, WJAX has reported that “the 16-year-old was charged with possession of a handgun, aggravated assault on a police officer, reckless driving, driving without a license and a stop sign violation”. Similarly, “the 15-year-old was charged with possession of a handgun by a minor, removal or attempt to remove a firearm from a cop, and felony obstruction of an officer”.
What is more, the police has reported that during the arrest of the two boys, there had been an altercation between the 15-year-old and the second officer. Consequently, the minor suffered injuries which had to be treated by emergency medical services (EMS).
However, according to Daily Mail, the teenager had later explained that he did not understand why the police had pulled them over as they had not been speeding; the boy had also told News4Jax that “during the arrest, while he had his hands up, a police officer hit him in the eye with his gun and another officer tasered him in the back”.
Georgia’s Waycross Police Department called the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
The Sun has reported that the GBI’s preliminary investigation found that the police officers had seen the boys commit a traffic violation; subsequently, the police had tried to get the vehicle’s license plate number. The two police officers have since been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Furthermore, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has asked that the police release the body and dash cam footage so that they too can conduct an investigation.
Atlanta Attorney Gerald Griggs, VP of the NAACP Atlanta chapter spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, stating:
‘I’m very concerned that shots were fired while children were involved […] we’re concerned that level of force was used.’