By Steffen Vukojevich
By now many people have seen the video of the off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer who discharged his weapon while restraining a 13-year-old boy for allegedly telling the officer “I’m going to shoot you,” while walking on his and an adjoining property.
The video showed the officer, identified as Kevin Ferguson, 34, restraining the 13-year-old boy in an Anaheim neighborhood, surrounded by a group of children.
After a few tense moments in which Ferguson pulled the teen by his shirt, two other boys shoved Ferguson over a hedge in the front yard of a home and one of them struck Ferguson in the face. They were attempting to free their friend.
When a third teen jumped over the hedge that Ferguson was pushed over, things got out of hand.
Ferguson withdrew a concealed firearm from his waistband and attempted to pull the boy over the hedge and then fired his weapon into the ground.
Luckily, the round did not hit anybody. It remains unclear whether the officer intended to fire his weapon or if it just went off in the struggle.
The surrounding children dispersed in panic, and the video ended a short while later.
But were Ferguson’s actions justified or even worth it in the first place? Or was this just a power trip?
Anaheim police and the LAPD are both investigating.
Though all of the facts aren’t yet available, I don’t think he responded appropriately. To begin, kids are going to be kids and may be mindless in their actions.
I can think of a lot of things that would bother me more than having some kids walk on my lawn after they get out of school.
Second, the boy, whom The Bulletin is not identifying because of his age, is heard pleading with Ferguson, telling him, “I didn’t say I would shoot you, I said I would sue you,” which Ferguson dismissed.
The altercation should have ended there, but it could have cost a life– all over a possible miscommunication.
Although the children were being brats, and the child did appear to threaten Ferguson, none of this should have happened.
Ferguson should have simply done what a sensible adult is expected to do: call the Anaheim Police Department, explain what happened and let the on-duty police officers handle the situation.