In Two Years, Police Killed 86 People Displaying Guns that Aren't Real
The U.S. Police is facing a new reality: the rise in the the number of people publicly displaying ultra-real-looking guns and other toy weapons to commit crimes, which can lead to mortal confusions.
Police shot and killed at least 86 people over the past two years because of this confusing encounters, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings nationwide. So far this year, police have fatally shot 43 people wielding the guns. In 2015, police also killed 43.
The Post analysis is the first accounting of fatal police shootings involving people armed with air guns, toys or replicas.The 86 shooting deaths are among the nearly 2,000 people shot and killed by police since 2015.
Experts who study the domestic market for pellet and Airsoft guns said consumer demand for replica firearms has grown.
Police say it is virtually impossible to train officers to identify imitation firearms from any distance.
Efforts to stop production of the guns or radically alter their appearance have mostly failed because of resistance from gunmakers and gun rights groups, such as the National Rifle Association.
As reported on Sunday in The Washington Post.