Authorities Charge Ex-Police Officer Who Allegedly Shot 12-Year-Old With Murder

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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An ex-Philadelphia police officer who allegedly shot and killed a 12-year-old boy was charged with murder Monday.

Former police officer Edsaul Mendoza, 26, was charged with the murder of Thomas “TJ” Siderio, District Attorney (DA) Larry Krasner said Monday, according to CNN. On the evening of March 1, Mendoza and three colleagues were driving an unmarked car in plainclothes when they encountered a 17-year-old and Siderio, who the DA said “likely” fired at the car, with a bullet going through the rear window, CNN reported.

Three officers took cover, while Mendoza started a “tactically unsound” foot chase of Siderio, allegedly shooting at the 12-year-old three times, according to the DA’s presentment document. Siderio discarded his gun after the first shot was fired, and Mendoza allegedly chose to fire again after Siderio either fell or dove onto the ground, the presentment continued. (RELATED: Body Found In Barrel In One Of America’s Most Famous Lakes)

“Thus when Officer Mendoza fired the third and fatal shot, he knew the 12-year-old, 5-foot tall, 111-pound Thomas Siderio no longer had a gun and no ability to harm him,” Krasner said, according to CNN.

Mendoza was charged with murder of the first degree, murder of the third degree, voluntary manslaughter and possession of an instrument of crime, according to a statement from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Mendoza was fired by Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw shortly after the shooting for what she described as violating the department’s rules regarding use of force, CNN reported.

“I will tell you that all use of force has to be proportionate to the resistance they’re trying to overcome. I will also tell you that our policy clearly states that excessive force will not be tolerated,” Outlaw said at the time.