Columbus, Ohio rally demands answers in 13-year-old's shooting death by police


COLUMBUS (WCMH) - More than one hundred people rallied along the front steps of Columbus, Ohio's City Hall Monday to demand answers and change after the shooting death of 13-year-old Tyre King by a Columbus police officer.

Columbus Police say Officer Bryan Mason repeatedly shot Tyre King on Wednesday night after the teen ran from investigators and pulled out a BB gun that looked like a real firearm.

"We are here because the community is alarmed about the fact that a child can be holding a toy in his own community and be dead today," said Tammy Fournier-Alsaada, with the People's Justice Project.

Social reform groups and community activists are demanding that city officials and the Columbus Division of Police are held accountable for King's death.

One protester questioned why Police Chief Kim Jacobs felt the need to show the public a replica of the BB gun King allegedly pulled on officers before he was shot.

Tyre King

"Kim Jacobs, she held it up," Cerise Allen said, referring to the picture of the gun Jacobs showed at a press conference last week. "She held this gun up and yet we still haven't seen the actual toy that he was holding. This is disheartening. And this was done to tarnish that family's name, this was done to tarnish the boy's name. But what they're not going to do is address the fact the boy was running from the officer when he was shot."

Records show the Ohio officer who fatally shot King met or exceeded standards in a recent performance evaluation.

The Associated Press on Monday obtained Officer Bryan Mason's performance ratings from May through a public records request.

The evaluation notes that Mason maintains composure under stress and demonstrates "exceptional verbal skills" in defusing "potentially hostile situations."

Mason, a nine-year veteran of the force, is on administrative leave as the shooting is investigated. The head of the local police union says Mason did what he had to do in that situation.

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