Florida: 14-Year-Old Black Teen Armed With Airsoft Gun Shot After Police Officer Mistook It For A Real Weapon

Rahul Srinivas

A 14-year-old teenager from Jacksonville, Florida, has been hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after he was shot in the leg by a police officer responding to a 911 call. According to NBC News, the teen, whose name has not been released, was injured after a police officer thought the airsoft gun in the teen's possession was a real weapon -- and shot him in the leg.

According to a CBS Local report, the police officer was responding to a 911 call from a woman living in a townhome complex in Jacksonville late on Friday. The woman had called the police complaining about a teenager who was allegedly shooting at her windows using a pellet gun. The woman had made two calls to the police, confirmed Tom Hackney, director of investigations for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. While they were unable to trace anyone after the first call, officer Josh Livingood, who was deputed for responding to the second call, encountered the teen just outside the woman's home. The official Twitter handle of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had tweeted about the incident as well.

— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) December 12, 2015

It was only after the near fatal shooting that the officer realized that the "gun" in possession of the teen was relatively harmless. The teen was later moved to a hospital where he is now undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, the local sheriff's office has confirmed that the teen involved in the incident has had a long history of such interactions with the police. In fact, he had been intercepted by authorities for several cases -- many of them for mental health issues.

— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) December 12, 2015

"The teen has, according to his family now, been diagnosed with both developmental and psychiatric disorders."

This latest incident involving a black youngster with guns comes at a time when the U.S. has been reeling under a wave of gun-related crimes. The past year has also seen tensions flare up over the actions of white police officers on black youngsters.

Do you think Officer Josh Livingood took the correct decision and was justified in injuring the teenager who refused to obey his commands?

(Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

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