“Kids will be kids”

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from MSNBC,

In response to the fatal police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland almost two weeks ago, an officer who works for a precinct of the St. Louis County Police Department posted warnings Thursday on its social media accounts about children playing with toy guns.

“If you or your children have an Airsoft or pellet gun please sit them down and talk to them about this tragedy. Your children should have rules for ‘toy’ guns that mirror the rules of a real weapon,” the post continued. “Pellet guns and Airsoft guns should not be allowed to be played with throughout the neighborhood, common grounds, or used to threaten or intimidate people.”

“If the type of gun is in question by the witness, the Police will respond as though it is a real gun until it can be confirmed one way or the other. Remember if an Airsoft pistol is tucked in your pants like a holster then obviously the orange tip is no longer visible. The police will respond lights and sirens and come to a screeching halt in the area where your child is playing with the gun,” the post said later.

Less than two hours after publication, the posts were deleted. St. Louis County Media Relations Officer Shawn McGuire told msnbc he was aware of the post and was “looking into it.”

“The intention of the post was to inform citizens about the potential danger of airsoft or pellet guns resembling real guns. However, the post was a misguided communication strategy and was offensive to many people,” Chief Belmar said in a statement to msnbc. “I apologize to Tamir’s family and anyone who was offended by the post.

Surveillance video of the Rice shooting, released last week by authorities at the request of the boy’s family, showed police shooting Rice within seconds of arriving at the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22.

The officers were responding to a 911 call in which a person sitting at a picnic table under a nearby gazebo said he saw “a guy in here with a pistol” who kept pulling the gun in and out of his waistband. The 911 caller also mentioned that the individual was “probably a juvenile” and the firearm was “probably fake.” Rice had been walking back and forth along the sidewalk and waving a toy “airsoft” gun.

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