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The arrest of a 66-year-old White woman in Connecticut, who was taken into custody unharmed after pointing a BB gun at police officers, is raising questions about the use of lethal force against people of color following the non-indictment of officers who fatally shot a 12-year-old Black child holding a toy gun.

Witnesses say a woman, later identified as Elaine Rothenberg of North Carolina, was seen walking around the Torrington Police Department with what appeared to be a handgun. Police say the woman, who stays at a residence in Torrington a few weeks out of the year, first pointed the gun at two civilians, asking if they were cops. The individuals ran away unharmed, WFSB reports.

A short time later, Rothenberg stood in the doorway of the employee entrance in what police described as a “shooting stance” before shouting that she hated cops.

“What are you doing, shoot me!” she said. “What are you scared of?” 

According to WFSB, Rothenberg then raised the weapon towards police, yelling “boom, boom, boom.” The BB gun used in the incident was purchased earlier that day by Rothenberg “because it looked real.”

Police took Rothenberg into custody without incident, later charging her with first-degree threatening, seven counts of reckless endangerment, interfering with police, and second-degree breach of peace.

While Rothenberg will likely be given due process, victims like John Crawford and Tamir Rice — both Black individuals who were holding toy guns when they were fatally shot by police officers — weren’t even given a chance.

And when you consider that Rice, just a child, did not verbally threaten police or point his toy gun in their direction as Rothenberg had, it’s hard to imagine that police would consider a child in a park more dangerous than a grown woman holding a gun outside of a police station.

A curious case, don’t you agree?



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