I mean, if you were a cop staking out an area, where, say, dead women bound in duct tape keep turning up, and one night a woman runs by screaming, followed by a guy waving duct tape, that... well... probably has nothing to do with it? Better stay out of it? Come on!
That's not hardly the same thing, is it?
They were on stake out to stop a string of ARMED ROBBERIES...
In convenience stores, not apartment complex parking lots.
The only danger that existed was in their heads?
Yes, and if you can't understand that then you have no ability for rational thought. Toy gun = no danger. The only danger that existed was in their heads, in their imaginations. At no point during this incident were those police officers ever in any danger at all whatsoever.
Perceived danger is different from real danger. I wasn't there and did not see what happened, so whether the perceived danger warranted him firing his gun or not, I can't say.
But as someone who shoots guns and has been with police when someone shot at them with a real gun (and they did not return fire), I can tell you that I would never pull my trigger without knowing what I was shooting.
The assistant police chief himself said this area had, 10 - 15 years ago, been a high crime area but it no longer was:
I wouldnt consider it a war zone or a real high-crime area, he said. Maybe 10 or 15 years ago it was. But now? I mean, have crimes occurred in that particular area? Yes. Have shootings occurred in that particular area? Yes. But its been getting a whole lot better.
If you are a cop and you are in a residential area (ie. apartment complex) and you insert yourself into a situation and you fire your gun without knowing what you are firing at, you have made a terrible and tragic mistake.
I'm not saying it was criminal. I'm not saying he should lose his job.
But blaming the parents or the kids is stupid.