'Completely justified': Illinois cops defend drawing weapons on black child during arrest over toy gun
A law enforcement officer aims his gun (Shutterstock)

Illinois' Granite City Police Department stands by its decision to arrest a child at gun point for playing with a toy gun in his neighborhood, without reading him his rights, KMOV reports.


Police accosted the 11-year-old boy, Chris Fulton, near a laundromat close to his home. At the time, he was playing outside with other children. Fulton was in possession of an air soft pistol that contained no plastic ammunition.

“I was fake shooting with my brother and others,” Fulton tells KMOV reporters. When police arrived, "they pointed a gun at me and took my fingerprints."

"How did you feel?" a journalist with the network asks.

"Scared," the 11-year-old replies earnestly.

Police Chief Richard Miller admits to the local news outlet that "officers on the scene drew their weapons." Miller defends the cops' actions. "As they pulled on the lot they did not know his age, they did not know it was toy,” the chief tells KMOV.

Fulton is black. Miller is white.

Officers claim they responded to a call from a driver, who said Fulton had pointed his toy gun in the car's direction while walking slowly across the street. Fulton denies the claim.

"I never did threaten anybody," Fulton tells KMOV solemnly. The boy's family believe police accusations against their child are false.

According to the St. Louis-based news network, the Granite City Police Department consider their armed arrest of Chris Fulton "completely justified."

Police further defend their decision not to read Fulton his miranda rights. The department claims officers "were under no obligation to do so because they did not question him," KMOV reports.

Fulton's mother tells reporters she is hiring a lawyer. She does not want her son -- who committed no crime -- to have a criminal record. She wants the Granite City police to drop all charges against her child.

According to recent Census Bureau data, Granite City's population is approximately 5.5 percent black. The town of approximately 29,000 people is located less than 20 miles from Ferguson, Missouri -- the site of 18-year-old Mike Brown's infamous shooting death at the hands of local police.

Fulton's arrest comes in the months following the police killings of John Crawford (22) and Tamir Rice (12), both black, and both shot dead for holding toy guns.