DeKalb County, Georgia police are in the news today after an officer shot a boy who was skipping school. This is the same DeKalb County police department that made headlines last month for illegally entering a DeKalb family’s home and tackling the residents while threatening to “cane” them.
Today’s incident began when a woman called DeKalb police and said her home had been broken into. Police arrived at the home and found two men inside, but they suspected that multiple other robbers fled the scene.
16-year-old Marquez Redden was walking through the neighborhood at the same time police were searching for the robbers. He was skipping school. When Redden saw the police cars, he ran out of fear that he would be caught skipping school.
A DeKalb officer saw Redden running, and made the shockingly trigger-happy decision to shoot him. Redden was hit in the arm. He is in stable condition at a local hospital.
The officer who shot Redden has been placed on paid administrative leave while officials investigate the incident.
DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander spoke briefly to local media about the incident.
Alexander said the officer assumed Redden “was part of those (suspects) that were running away from the crime scene. But actually, he’s running because he’s truant.”
But Alexander stopped short of saying his colleague at the department was wrong in shooting Redden. Instead, Alexander chose to blame Redden, saying that he shouldn’t have run.
“Absolutely it would’ve been different,” Alexander said. “Had he [Redden] stopped right there … That would have been it.”
Welcome to DeKalb County, everyone. Where getting shot by a police officer while skipping school is your fault because, hey, you kind of look like a robber.
Redden’s father, Michael Redden, is understandably upset by both the shooting and the police department’s claim that the shooting was an “unintentional misfire.”
"He has a Taser," Redden said of the officer. "He had a dog in his hand, so there are other forces that you could use instead of accidentally discharging your gun, if that's what you say happened."