The Columbus police are under fire for killing a 16 year old boy, then charging his teenage girlfriend for the murder
The victim, 16-year-old Julius E. Tate Jr., was shot and killed by a SWAT officer. Julius was involved in an undercover operation where police set up meetings online with people wanting to buy and sell goods.
An undercover SWAT officer met with Julius on December 7, hoping to exchange cash for an undisclosed item when the teen allegedly pulled out a handgun and tried to rob the officer.
Police wanted to find someone to charge with Julius' death, so they are charging his girlfriend.
Police are claiming Julius' girlfriend, 16-year-old Masonique Saunders, played a part in the robbery. Court documents state the teen had a handgun on her person during the time of the botched exchange.
She was taken into custody December 14 and charged with murder and aggravated robbery even though she did not kill her boyfriend or partake in the robbery.
Although she denied playing any part in Julius' murder, Masonique is facing an uphill battle. Ohio state law says a person can be charged with murder if they "cause the death of another as a proximate result of the offender's committing or attempting to commit an offense of violence that is a felony of the first or second degree."
Danielle Williams, Masonique's mother, told news outlet 10TV her daughter should not be charged with murder and claimed Masonique told her Julius did not have a gun and officers fired on him for no apparent reason.
"She said he didn't [have a gun]," Williams told 10TV.
Authorities reportedly recovered a weapon at the scene of the shooting, but its ownership has yet to be confirmed.