Two police officers in Georgia are on administrative leave after firing shots at a car full of minors.
CNN reports that the Waycross Police department has requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launch an investigation into Saturday’s shooting. The officers will remain on leave until the GBI concludes their investigation. The shooting in Waycross was just one of four officer-involved shootings that occurred over the weekend and is currently being investigated by the GBI.
As The Root reported over the weekend, there were immediate calls from the NAACP to release both body-camera and dash-camera footage of the traffic stop. The shooting occurred on Saturday as the group of five Black children, ages 9 to 16, were driving home from a local Walmart. The officers said they followed the car to gain its information after it allegedly committed a traffic violation.
According to the three youngest children, ages 9, 12 and 14, the officers didn’t turn on their lights until they arrived in their neighborhood. The two oldest children, ages 15 and 16, were scared and told the other three to exit the vehicle and go get their parents. As the children exited the moving vehicle, the officers began to open fire. Seven shots were fired and one narrowly missed striking the 9-year-old. “It went passed my face. I could have gotten shot in my face, but they shot the swing,” the boy told WJXT.
Dominique Goodman Sr., the father of the three youngest children, heard the gunshots and went outside to see what was going on. “We go in the back, we open the door, we see my 9-year-old, my 12-year-old and 14-year-old running from the police behind them, gunshots coming behind them. We go down the street and we see our 15-year-old and our 16-year-old on the ground.” Goodman told WJXT. The children were on their way home to pick up Goodman to attend a football tournament two of the kids were scheduled to play in.
In a news statement, Waycross police said that the 16-year-old was arrested for possession of a handgun by someone under 18, reckless driving, a stop sign violation, aggravated assault on an officer and driving without a license. The statement added the 15-year-old was charged with possession of a handgun by a person under 18, obstruction of an officer, and removal or attempt to remove a firearm from an officer. Thankfully, no one was killed or injured as a result of the shooting, though the 16-year-old was treated by an EMT for injuries that resulted from an altercation with the officers.
I don’t understand the logic behind the decision to open fire on fucking children, over allegedly running a stop sign, no less. It’s a routine traffic stop; if they were that concerned about it they could’ve just run after them. The kids were— understandably, considering recent and historical events—scared and the actions of the officers only justified that fear.
“They shot at a car full of unarmed minors. A car full of unarmed children. Like who in the world can’t see that this is a 9-year-old? Who can’t see that this is a child? They look like children,” Goodman told WJXT. “They are babies. What was the purpose of the shooting?”