Judge's punishment teaches teens about gun danger

Judge teaches teens lesson about playing with fake guns
Published: Sep. 12, 2016 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2016 at 7:04 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - There were many lessons to be learned from what happened at Cudell Recreation Center in December of 2014 when Tamir Rice was shot by police, but an incident in Parma showed that not everyone learned them.

"It looks like two kids have a gun in the pavilion. I don't know if it's real," according to a 911 caller.

The call was hauntingly similar to the call that drew officers to 12-year-old Tamir.  But several things happened differently. First, an officer stayed back, and the two boys put the airsoft guns down and their hands up.

The case has been in juvenile court for some time now as attorneys for the boys fought to keep media out. Magistrate Jenine Nickerson got assurances
from Cleveland 19 that there was no intention to identify the boys. She allowed coverage.

The interesting part of the story is the judge's punishment: community service, a fine and essays on the danger the pair put themselves in by flashing the guns.

One wrote "I gotta start thinking before I do stuff cuz not thinking before you do stuff can have you messed up."

The other wrote "I learned from Tamir Rice and what not to do. I am done with BB guns and any type of gun in general."

Judge Nickerson noted "Thankfully you all were able to be here to discuss the matter and to learn a lesson from this matter."

The boys cases were dismissed and they went on their way, taking with them an important lesson.  Hopefully the judge using this as a teaching moment for the two boys will be heard by all.
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