Ohio police union sues toy gun makers

The handgun that Karjalainen had was determined to be a replica and is similar to a Ruger MKIII. (Beaverton PD)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WATE) – The Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association is launching a federal lawsuit to hold manufacturers of fake or toy guns accountable.

The lawsuit won’t seek financial damages, but rather restrict the design of these fake weapons. They say it is too hard to tell the different between real and fake guns.

“These fake weapons put the community at risk, puts law enforcement at risk, something has to be done,” Henry Hilow with the Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association told WEWS-TV. “The remedy that we’d be looking for is that that gun could not replicate. That that gun would be of such a color have such a tip.”

It cites an investigation by the Washington Post that found in two years, police killed 86 people holding guns that looked real, but were really fake. The lawsuit also follows the death of Tamir Rice. The 12-year-old boy was shot and killed in November 2014 while playing with what turned out to be a pellet gun.

Previous story: Officer won’t face charges in death of Ohio boy

Hillow said the Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association is looking for support from other police unions in major cities like Columbus and Dallas. He said the civil lawsuit is expected to be filed in the coming months.

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