Cop Fatally Shoots 12-Year-Old Boy, Charged With First-Degree Murder

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A Philadelphia cop fatally shot a 12-year-old boy and has now been charged with first-degree murder, CNN reports.

On March 1, Edsaul Mendoza engaged in a "tactfully unsound" foot chase of 12-year-old Thomas "TJ" Siderio after he "likely" shot at a police car. Siderio threw the gun aside while being chased by Mendoza, but the cop still chose to shoot the boy three times.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement on Monday (May 2), "Thus when Officer Mendoza fired the third and fatal shot, he knew the 12-year-old, 5-foot tall, 111-pound Thomas Siderio no longer had a gun and no ability to harm him."

Three other officers were at the scene and took cover as Siderio's alleged bullet entered their unmarked police car's back window. Mendoza ran after the boy and fatally shot him in the back as he lay face down on the ground.

Krasner's statement comes two months after Mendoza was fired because the fatal incident violated the use of force policy.

At the time, Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said, "I will tell you that all use of force has to be proportionate to the resistance they're trying to overcome." Outlaw added, "I will also tell you that our policy clearly states that excessive force will not be tolerated."

Krasner announced on Monday that Mendoza was charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and possession of an instrument of crime with intent to use it criminally. The former Philadelphia cop is currently in custody without bail — Mendoza's preliminary court hearing is scheduled for May 16.

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