Denver Officer Says He Warned Teen Before Shooting

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In a controversial Denver police killing of a mentally disabled teenager, the officer says that he ordered the 15-year-old three to five times to drop a knife he was holding, before shooting him. The Denver Post quoted the transcript of a police interview of officer James Turney about the July 5 incident. The mother and older sister of the dead youth, Paul Childs, reported other officers’ yelling “Tase ‘im, tase ‘im,” before Turney fired four shots from his Glock 21 with a laser aiming light. The reference was to the nonlethal Taser gun, which stuns a victim but leaves no permanent injuries.

Turney never heard anyone at the scene yell anything about a Taser gun, he told police. Childs was shot in the front doorway of his family’s Denver house. The transcripts are expected to be turned over to Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, who will decide whether to file charges. The shooting led to calls from community leaders for a federal investigation.

Childs’ mother, Helen, was quoted in the transcript as saying that after the confrontation began, “I heard officers say, ‘Jus’ tase ‘im, jus’ tase ‘im.’ Next thing we know, I, I’m lookin’ pow, pow, pow. An’ he falls to the ground.”


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