The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association is hoping to start a movement of sorts, involving toy gun manufacturers and what they believe to be the methods that these companies use when manufacturing their toys.
They believe that these type of toys, guns, in particular, resemble the real thing far too often, and to the detriment of their officers.
Because of this, they have decided to file a federal lawsuit against these manufacturers and they are expecting police unions from around the country to join its suit, which looks to hold toy gun makers accountable for the designs they make available to the public, specifically the youth.
“The remedy that we’d be looking for is that that gun could not replicate. That that gun would be of such a color, have such a tip,” attorney for CPPA told a local Cleveland news station about the suit on Monday, May 1. “These fake weapons put the community at risk, puts law enforcement at risk, something has to be done,” he said.
The lawsuit comes nearly three years after officers gunned down 12-year-old Tamir Rice as he played with a fake gun that a 911 caller assumed was real.
When police arrived at the Cudell Recreation Center, they saw the boy walking in circles and pretending to shoot the toy, but in believing that it was an actual gun, one of the officers responding, immediately opened fire.
At the time, the union filing this suit was criticized for its attitude towards the Rice family as they defended the officers involved.
Its president, Steve Loomis, characterized Rice as “menacing” in a Politico interview, and suggested that Rice’s family use a portion of their $6 million settlement towards educating Cleveland youth on the dangers of using toy guns, which some interpreted as Loomis continuing to imply that Rice was responsible for his own death.