A Georgia police officer is accused of shooting at a car full of children.
According to News4Jax, there were five children present when one of the two officers involved allegedly fired his gun during a traffic stop in Waycross, Georgia.
The minors, who are siblings, are ages 9, 12, 14, 15 and 16. None of them were harmed, but police said two teenagers were arrested “based on circumstances surrounding the incident.”
The GBI is investigating an OIS involving Waycross Police Officers and and 2 minors (15 & 16 y/o males). No officers were injured. A 15 y/o was treated for minor injuries from an altercation with a police officer that occurred during this incident. https://t.co/n3Sufx5O5q
— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) August 8, 2020
The incident took place on Saturday morning when an officer began following the children over a traffic violation. The three youngest children said the officer turned on his lights after they arrived in their neighborhood and pulled them over.
Three of the youngest children were getting out of the car to go get their father when the officer pursued them in his car. A second officer responded to the incident at the same time and allegedly fired multiple shots at the car as the teens drove toward him.
“It went past my face,” the 9-year-old told News4Jax reporters. “I could have gotten shot in my face, but they shot the swing.”
Dominique Goodman Sr., who is the father of the children, said he went outside when he heard shots.
“We go in the back, we open the door, we see my 9-year-old, my 12-year-old and 14-year-old running from the police behind them with gunshots coming behind them,” Goodman said. “We go down the street and we see our 15-year-old and our 16-year-old on the ground.”
The distraught father captured a video of police arresting the two teens. The 15-year-old, who was bleeding from his face after an altercation with the second officer, was charged with possession of a handgun by a minor, felony obstruction of an officer and removal or attempt to remove a firearm from an officer. His brother, 16, was charged with possession of a handgun by a minor, reckless driving, aggravated assault on a police officer, driving without a license and a stop sign violation.
The teens' sister posted a video of the scene after the arrest, saying her "15-year-old brother got pistol-whipped by the police department for what … getting out the car."
DEVELOPING. We are receiving reports of a police involved incident in Waycross, Ware County Georgia. Initial Reports allege a 9 and 12 year old were present during the shooting by Law Enforcement. The @Georgia_NAACP has been alerted. #BlackLivesMatter
— Gerald A. Griggs (@AttorneyGriggs) August 8, 2020
The children were returning home to prepare to go to a football tournament that two of the children were supposed to play in.
“Our kids almost lose their lives to go to a football game? Man, that’s crazy," Goodman said. "That’s crazy. Almost lose their lives going to the football game.”
The Waycross Police Department said the two officers have been placed on administrative leave.
The latest officer-involved shooting follows the recent cases of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and many more individuals who have lost their lives due to police brutality. In Saturday's case, Nelly Miles, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, didn't confirm the races of the children or the officer who fired the shots, USA Today reported.
Gerald Griggs, vice president of the NAACP chapter in Waycross, is calling for police to release body camera and dash camera footage of the incident.
“I’m very concerned that shots were fired while children were involved,” Griggs told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re concerned that level of force was used.”
Goodman is in disbelief.
"They shot at a car full of unarmed minors. A car full of unarmed children," he said. "Like who in the world can't see that this is a 9-year-old? Who can't see that this is a child? They look like children. They are babies. What was the purpose of shooting?"