Body cam footage shows police shooting a teen who was holding a fake gun

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Body camera footage released by the City of Akron on Monday shows the April 1 shooting of teenager Tavion Koonce-Williams, who was shot in the hand after a 911 caller reported him to police for holding what was later determined to be a toy gun.
The teen can be seen with his hands up in the air amid the shooting, repeatedly screaming, “it’s fake, it’s fake, it’s fake,” regarding the gun, as the officer exits his vehicle.
“Tavion was shot on the inside of his wrist which clearly indicates his hands were up when he was shot.”
The Akron Fraternal Order of Police (AFOP), the union representing Westlake, told Akron ABC affiliate WEWS that this “is an extremely difficult situation for everyone involved.
Akron Mayor Shammas Malik said in a statement on Monday that the city released the body camera footage and the officer’s personnel file in an “effort to be as transparent as possible.”
the officer said, repeatedly screaming to the officer that the gun is “fake,” Koonce-Williams dropped to the ground, footage shows.
Video shows the teen crying in pain throughout the incident as officers place him in handcuffs while he is on the ground.
Asked if charges could be filed against the teen, a spokesperson for the city of Akron did not immediately respond to ABC News’ inquiry.


Teenager Tavion Koonce-Williams was shot in the hand on April 1st after a 911 caller reported him to the police for carrying what turned out to be a toy gun. The City of Akron made body camera footage of the incident public on Monday.

A 911 caller who was walking her dog in the neighborhood reported to police that Koonce-Williams was pointing a gun at people’s homes. The teen, who was not named by police but was later identified by the family attorney, was shot in the hand by an Akron Police Department (APD) officer, according to video.

When the officer arrived on the scene, it was captured on camera asking the teenager to put his hands behind his back before firing one shot, injuring the teen’s hand as he got out of his car. The teenager is seen yelling, “It’s fake, it’s fake, it’s fake,” in reference to the gun, while raising his hands in the air as the officer gets out of his car during the shooting.

The family of the East High School student is “heartbroken,” according to a statement made public on Monday by attorney Imokhai Okolo, who is representing the teen and his family. It is their desire for justice.

“After being shot, he is currently coping with the trauma of being profiled and witnessing his life flash before his eyes,” Okolo stated. “Tavion’s hands were obviously up when he was shot because he was shot on the inside of his wrist. “.

The officer, Ryan Westlake, a nine-year department veteran, was named by the city of Akron on Monday. He has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

In July 2021, Westlake was fired from the APD for multiple policy violations; however, he was later rehired after reaching a deal with the police union, according to Westlake’s personnel file made public by the city.

There are several disciplinary actions and incidents involving the use of force in the officer’s file, one of which has been found to be unreasonable. The statement the city released on Monday also stated that they expect to have more information to share in the upcoming weeks.

This “is an extremely difficult situation for everyone involved,” the Westlake-representing Akron Fraternal Order of Police (AFOP) union told Akron ABC affiliate WEWS. Any time an officer has to make the extremely difficult, split-second decision to protect himself and others against an armed suspect, there is always cause for concern. “.

The statement went on, “We are confident that our officer’s actions will be deemed justified when all the facts are released.”.

The AFOP was contacted by ABC News for more information.

An Akron Police Department spokesman told ABC News on Tuesday, “The incident remains under investigation (BCI), and due to the independent investigation, we won’t be committing further.”.

In an “effort to be as transparent as possible,” the city made the body camera footage and the officer’s personnel file available, according to a statement released by Akron Mayor Shammas Malik on Monday. “.

He went on, “As the process develops, we will remain open and communicative.”.

what’s depicted in the video.

The shooting started at approximately 7:04 p.m. m. following a 911 call on April 1st, which police also made public on Monday. The caller, the male, was reportedly pointing a gun at nearby houses in the vicinity of Newton Street and Tonawanda Avenue, according to police.

“As I was walking my dog down the street, I noticed a man pointing a gun at houses, so I called.”. The 911 caller’s voice can be heard saying, “He pulled it out and was acting like he was going to shoot their houses.”.

“Is this man Black or White?” the caller asked. “It’s a Black man with shorter hair, a black hoodie with Adidas or something written on the back, and a gun that’s a little bit larger than a pistol.”. “.

It was around 7:11 p.m. when an responding officer went up to “the subject matching the colors description.”. me. police claim that he was attacked at around local time while strolling along Britton Road, close to the intersection of Ottawa Avenue.

“To look into it, the policeman halted his marked vehicle. The policeman started to get out of his squad vehicle. He gave the man a verbal order to reveal his hands right away,” according to a statement released by the police to go along with the body camera video. “A few seconds later, the subject was seen holding what appeared to be a gun when the officer fired once, striking the man in the hand. ****.

After yelling at the officer several times that the gun was “fake,” Koonce-Williams fell to the ground, as seen in the video. “Shots fired, drop to the ground!” the officer exclaimed.

The adolescent is seen on camera sobbing in agony as police cuff him while he is on the ground. He claims his grandmother lives down the street and tells police he was on his way home from his cousin’s funeral.

“My hand isn’t feeling well,” he sobs.

He tells first responders, “I’m a good kid, I get A’s in school, and I play football.”.

After being taken to a nearby hospital, Koonce-Williams “underwent treatment for a non life threatening injury,” according to the police.

“Now, Trevor is joining the line of Black youth who have been profiled and shot by the Akron Police Department without any reason or consideration for human life,” Okolo stated.

Okolo stated that in light of the incident, the city is thinking of filing charges against the teenager. When ABC News asked if charges could be brought against the teen, an Akron city spokesperson did not immediately respond.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) will look into this case, according to APD, and after it’s finished, the results will be sent to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for consideration.

ABC News received confirmation from a BCI representative on Monday that their “investigation is active and ongoing.”. “.”.

A spokesman for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office requested that the case be submitted to a grand jury for assessment, and stated that “findings will be referred to the county prosecutor for their review.”.

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