The family of an innocent 16-year-old boy shot in the face by Oakland police Wednesday night has retained a civil rights lawyer.
The Oakland-based attorney John Burris will be representing the unarmed teenager who attends an Oakland public high school, Burris said Friday.
Frenswa Raynor was treated at a hospital for injuries to his lower right jaw where a bullet fired by an officer grazed his face. He was later released.
The boy was shot after an officer responded to a report that a female employee at Le Cheval restaurant at 1007 Clay St. in Downtown Oakland had been robbed at knifepoint near the eatery around 9:55 p.m., police said.
Someone told police the suspects were three black males on bicycles. The same witness called police several times to say he was following the three males he thought were the robbery suspects.
When four officers arrived in the area the witness directed them to the three males.
According to Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan, when the officers approached the males in the 1000 block of Jefferson Street, a block away from Le Cheval, one of the officers shot one of the boys.
Jordan said the officer said he had perceived a threat, details of which have yet to be disclosed.
The chief said investigators later determined that the three boys, including the 16-year-old who was shot, were not involved in the robbery near Le Cheval and were all 15 or 16 years old.
The trio was not armed and they were detained briefly but later released, Jordan said.
The officer, only identified as a veteran of the department for 15 to 20 years, has been put on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Burris said the use of deadly force was unnecessary.
He claims the police had no basis to shoot at the innocent teenager and his two friends, regardless if they had been the robbers or not. "Deadly force should not have been used," he said.
According to Burris, the boy put his hands up and complied with police orders.
"Any move that was made was going to be perceived as a threat," Burris said.
Burris has previously represented the families of slain Oscar Grant III and 18-year-old Alan Blueford in wrongful death and civil rights violation suits.
Grant, 22, was shot and killed by a BART police officer at Oakland's Fruitvale station on New Years Day 2009, while Blueford was shot May 6, 2012, during a chase with Oakland police near 92nd Avenue and Birch Street.
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