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Boy shot by Baltimore officer will 'absolutely not' face charges, police commissioner says

Baltimore, Md--4/27/16--Police Commissioner Kevin Davis talks about the shooting of a teen-aged boy was carrying a replica weapon by Baltimore Police officers Wednesday. The boy's injuries are not life-threatening. The incident happened near the McKim youth center, background, in the 1100 block of E. Baltimore St. Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun. 13855.
Baltimore, Md--4/27/16--Police Commissioner Kevin Davis talks about the shooting of a teen-aged boy was carrying a replica weapon by Baltimore Police officers Wednesday. The boy's injuries are not life-threatening. The incident happened near the McKim youth center, background, in the 1100 block of E. Baltimore St. Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun. 13855. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

The eighth-grader shot by a Baltimore police officer who mistook a BB gun the boy had for a real firearm will not be charged with a crime, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Saturday.

Dedric Colvin's mother, Volanda Young, also will not be charged with a crime, Davis said. He spoke during a panel discussion hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists at Morgan State University.

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"Absolutely not. He's not going to be charged. The mother's not going to be charged. That's not going to happen," Davis said.

Dedric was shot in the shoulder and leg on April 27 by a plainclothes officer on the one-year anniversary of riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray from spinal injuries suffered in police custody. After Dedric was shot, Young said she was handcuffed and placed in a cell before being released. Davis has said that Young was belligerent and that officers made "a judgment call."

Police said Dedric is 13 years old; the family has said he is 14 years old. He attends City Springs Middle School.

Davis has defended the officer's actions, but lamented the boy was injured. Police have said Dedric was carrying a "replica" gun and ran from police, and Davis has said officers can't wait to determine if a gun is real before taking action.

Panelist and activist Korey Johnson criticized Davis and the Police Department, saying it seemed they were seeking empathy when a black teenager was the one who was hurt.

Activist DeRay Mckesson, who ran and lost in the Democratic primary for mayor on Tuesday, said that the actions police took during a bomb scare Thursday at Fox 45 studios seemed far "more measured" than the actions taken to disarm Dedric. Alex Michael Brizzi, a 25-year-old white man, has been charged in the bomb scare. He was shot by police during the incident.

Davis said those two situations were "apples and oranges." The commissioner also said that if his sons had been in Dedric's situation, the outcome might have been different.

"They're two 13-year-old white kids," Davis said. "If they had a gun in their hand, would it be perceived differently? Yeah, I'd be the first one to admit that."

Davis said Dedric is expected to heal physically, but he is "worried about him emotionally and mentally" and wants to remain involved in the boy's life.

"I'd like to figure out how we can otherwise contribute to him in his years ahead, and I don't know what that looks like right now," Davis said. "I don't want to walk away from that young person."

Dedric's family is being represented by attorney William H. "Billy" Murphy, who declined to comment Saturday.

Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP, said she sees Davis' efforts to improve police conduct and community relations. But, she said, some officers do not follow orders, and that is "beyond the commissioner's control."

"I don't think that they're being defiant. I think there are some police that are racist. I think there's some police that don't understand the communities that they work in, and that's the thing that needs to change," Hill-Aston said.

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