NV Mom of Teen Shot by Officer Seeks Non-Lethal Weapons

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The mother of a 14-year-old Reno, Nv., boy who was shot and wounded by a school district police officer wants the superintendent to explain why campus officers aren’t better equipped with non-lethal weapons, reports the Associated Press. Cheryl Pitchford was among the group of 100 classmates, friends and family of the hospitalized teen who marched to the school district headquarters yesterday to deliver a petition demanding all campus police carry Tasers and pepper spray. Reno police say the boy was threatening others with knives when a campus officer shot him in the chest Dec. 7 while surrounded by dozens of students in a school courtyard.

He last was reported in critical but stable condition. District officials have refused to say if campus officers typically carry non-lethal weapons. They say they can’t comment while an investigation continues into the officer-involved shooting that many Hug High students captured on cellphone video and posted on social media. Demick La Flamme, the father of a friend of the teen who was shot, organized the march. He has gathered more than 1,000 signatures on the petition that says “lethal force should always be a last resort.” He said, “Nothing is worse than shooting into a crowd of children.” Washoe County School District Superintendent Traci Davis said a day after the shooting that the school’s emergency response plans worked “flawlessly” and praised the officers’ “who acted swiftly to protect the safety of our students.” She believes that “the officer’s judgment saved other students from deadly force.”

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