LAPD Shoots Unarmed 15-Year-Old in Hyde Park as Boy’s Friend Held Replica Gun

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Jamar Nicholson shows the wound where a bullet entered his back. The bullet is still lodged near his spine. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles police shooting of a teenager this week has once again stoked law enforcement concerns about realistic-looking toy weapons, which have been part of fatal police clashes around the country and prompted calls for legislative action in California.

The shooting occurred Tuesday morning. It took the LAPD more than a day to acknowledge that an officer had shot the 15-year-old in the back after he saw a person next to the teen pointing what the officer thought was a real weapon.

The replica gun involved in the LAPD shooting of a 15-year-old boy is displayed on Feb. 12, 2015. The boy's friend was holding the replica. (Credit: Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times)

The replica gun involved in the LAPD shooting of a 15-year-old boy is displayed on Feb. 12, 2015. The boy’s friend was holding the replica. (Credit: Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times)

Department officials had initially described the South Los Angeles encounter as involving a gunman who was eventually taken into custody.

The teen who was shot has been identified as 15-year-old Jamar Nicholson. During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he displayed a bandage across the upper right side of his back, showing where he was shot by the officer Tuesday morning.

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