It’s not just real gun violence that’s killing people. Highly detailed realistic toy guns are increasingly putting the public and law enforcement in danger. That’s according to at least one major metropolitan police union, prompting its officers to go after the toy companies themselves. The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, through its lawyer, said this week it plans to file a federal lawsuit in the coming months against toy gun manufacturers.
The realistic look of toy guns has been a supercharged issue since the 2014 shooting death in Cleveland of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. In that case, police were called to a recreation center after a witness saw Rice playing with what turned out to be a toy gun that shoots pellets. One of the responding officers shot and killed Rice within seconds of arriving at the scene. And it was the genuine look of the toy that in part prompted prosecutors not to charge the officers.