11yo Illinois boy arrested for playing with toy gun

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An 11-year-old African-American boy in Illinois was arrested by police while playing with a toy gun in the street with his friends. Police said they made the arrest after receiving a call from a driver, who complained the toy gun had been pointed at him.

The Granite City Police Department said it had been justified in arresting Chris Fulton because it had received a call from a driver saying the two boys were crossing the street slowly and, when the driver had asked the boys to hurry up, Fulton pointed the toy gun at him.

“The juvenile in the green shirt pointed what appeared to be a real gun as he walked towards the sidewalk,” said Granite City Police Chief Richard Miller.

Fulton told St. Louis’ KMOV News 4 that there is a different version of what happened.

Fulton said he pulled his air soft pistol out of his pocket while crossing the street at an intersection. He said he was playing with friends and the gun was not loaded with any plastic balls.

“I was fake shooting with my brother and others,” Fulton told News 4. He said he hadn’t pointed the gun at anyone.

“I never did threaten anybody, not at all.”

According to Police Chief Miller, officers saw the toy gun in Fulton’s front pocket on arriving and drew their weapons, but they hadn’t known Fulton’s age or that the gun was a toy.

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“As they pulled on the lot they did not know his age, they did not know it was toy,” Miller said.

Miller also said that police hadn’t read Fulton his Miranda rights, and had been under no obligation to do so, because they had not questioned him.

But Fulton told News 4, “They (police) pointed a gun at me, and took my finger prints.”

Fulton’s family says the police accusations are false. Fulton’s mother said she is upset with how the police have handled the situation. She’s hiring a lawyer and she wants all charges dropped.