In the past few years, Chicago’s gang violence has exploded, making the city one of America’s most dangerous metropolises. Much of the city’s violence, either directly or inadvertently, involves relatively young children.
That may be the reason a Chicago police officer reacted so strongly to a 13-year-old boy who tossed a snowball in his direction on Wednesday. The boy allegedly threw the snowball as he was walking home from school.
The boy, who is an eighth-grade student, was arrested for his actions. He currently faces felony charges of battery.
The boy explained that he was not comfortable with his arrest, especially because the snowball didn’t even hit the police officer.
“It made me mad. He [the officer] said the snowball hit him but it hit the car, not him,” the boy told the Chicago Tribune.
The boy also claims that he was not the one that threw the snowball. He was allegedly standing in a crowd of about 15 children and was picked out of the crowd by the school’s dean, Lenard Robertson. The boy was only half of a block away from the school when the incident occurred.
Although Chicago’s increasing gang violence amongst school-age children is definitely a major concern for the city, the police department’s response to an innocent snowball fight is not going to solve anything.
According to the New York Daily News, the boy’s mother claimed that her son had never been in trouble prior to this incident.
“He kept trying to tell the officer that he didn’t do it but they didn’t believe him. He was standing on the corner, there was a whole crowd of kids. It’s so crazy. It’s sad, he’s only 13. I’m so upset, he’s never been in trouble before. It’s his first case,” the boy’s mother said.
A similar incident occurred in New York City in 2010, when a group of five young men were arrested by an officer who pulled his gun after they threw a snowball in his direction. The boys sued the law enforcement agency for the incident and recently settled for $60,000 each.