Last Sunday night, two Tampa Police officers shot and killed a black, sixteen year old male in an apartment complex. It is a very sad and tragic event. Obviously, the investigation is in the early stages. According to the officers, the youth pointed a gun at them and they acted in self defense. However, another account indicates that this was not the case, that the youth was unarmed. Like we saw in the Trayvon case, investigators will have to sort through inconsistencies and conflicting reports.
However the facts unfold, this shooting has the potential to explode into violence and unfortunately there will be those who want to rush to judgment. There will be national leaders who will only seek to advance their own political agenda of police brutality, racism and even organ harvesting. The fact that Tampa will be hosting the Republican National Convention in less than a month makes it even more of a tinder box.
Family demands justice after officers shoot, kill teen
TAMPA – Ask Javon “JJ” Neal’s family about the 16-year-old’s death, and they’ll say he died in cold blood while playing a simple game of freeze tag.
“He’s not a bad kid,” cried Neal’s mother, Stacey Fordomss. “My son is sweet as gold.”
The story changes, however, when it comes from Tampa Police, who claim the teenager wasn’t playing games at all.
“This is a very dangerous assault-style weapon,” said TPD Spokesperson Laura McElroy. “It has no business being in the hands of a teenager.”
TPD responded to three calls about fights and shots fired at the Central Court Apartments in West Tampa on Sunday, the first around 6am.
The fourth and final call came around 7pm. The suspect, according to officers, ran up a staircase and then pointed his gun right at them, so officers fired theirs.
Neal’s family claims he was unarmed.
“He put his hands up and they shot him six or seven times,” explained Kemon Ford. “Just died in front of my eyes. They weren’t doing anything to try to help him. They just shot him and let him lie there and die.”