off-duty customs officer kills black teen, shoots another, claiming self-defense

May 30, 2017

An Arcadia, CA community is enraged after a Black 15-year-old was killed and his cousin hospitalized Friday when an off-duty Customs and Border Protection officer shot them in what he claims was self-defense. Authorities allege the two boys, along with another child, tried to beat and rob the officer after they all got off at the same train stop. Officials had originally falsely reported the assailants were men.

Deputies did not release the identity of the officer nor the children (theirs were concealed because of their age), but Reshawna Myricks, the mother of the teen who died, said his name was Darius Smith.

“Them boys didn’t do that,” Myricks told local news sation, KTLA, “they aren’t those type of boys to do that.”

The official account from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is that the three teens attacked the officer from behind as he was walking on the sidewalk along 1st Street around 8:15 p.m. In the statement, deputies claim that one of the boys hit the officer’s head several times while another, Smith, pointed a handgun at him and demanded his property.

The officer shot at the boys, striking Smith as well as a 14-year-old multiple times. Both were taken to a hospital, where Smith was pronounced dead at 5:34 a.m. Saturday. The 14-year-old’s injuries were not life-threatening.

“I know my child, that’s not my child,” Myricks maintans. Activist Shaun King made a post about Smith that quickly went viral, and, marking heightening awareness of the fact that police accounts often aren’t what they seem, many others have noted discrepancies in the official account, creating the #JusticeForDarius hashtag to shed light on the case.

The family is also raising funds for funeral expenses. Click here to support!