Toledo chief defends police in wake of Lamar Richardson shooting and high number of officer-involved deaths

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There’s been a high number of police-involved shootings in Toledo Ohio and the chief wants residents to know it’s taking a toll on the force.

But what about the people gunned down by cops and the family members left behind?

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Toledo Police Chief George Kral said officers are firing their weapons more than ever before. Since September, five cops were involved in police shootings and one detective was shot.

“I think [the shooting incidents] are higher than a normal year, but I think it shows you we’re being proactive in going after the worst, prolific offenders out there. We’re identifying and targeting and investigating these prolific offenders who are surrounded with guns and who are surrounded with violence,” Chief Kral said.

Tension in Toledo is running high between police officers and residents after friday’s shooting where 25-year-old Lamar Richardson, who was suspected of a burglary, was fatally shot by Toledo police.

The officers, Ryan Babcock and Kenneth Krabill pursued Richardson in a local neighborhood, after he allegedly pulled a gun while on fleeing, according to police. The police said they recovered a 9 mm firearm.

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Kral defended the latest shooting saying that Richardson was given ample chance to surrender and be taken into custody.

“When this guy had done at least four aggravated robberies with a handgun, had stolen a car earlier in [the day], they knew he had a gun, he pulled it out, the chase was over, simply because he wasn’t pointing and shooting doesn’t mean that the officers didn’t feel they were in danger,” Chief Kral said.

Many in the Toledo community see the shooting differently and took to the streets to protest police brutality.

And apparently Kral had an issue with that as well.

As officers formed a line so protestors couldn’t cross the crime scene, Kral said they were subjected to verbal abuse too.

“The officers who were on the line there showed incredible restraint by not answering the horrible things that were being shouted at them,” Chief Kral said.

“I look these guys and gals in the face every day and they’re strong, they’re resilient, but these officers are truly wanting to make Toledo a better city.

“When things like these happen so closely together it does put a strain on their physical and mental health, but they’re fantastic and I would put our officers up against any police department in the country,” he added.

The investigation into the shooting of Lamar Richardson is still ongoing.