Police Fatally Shoot Black Woman Holding a Toy Gun

Police in Virginia shot a 25-year-old woman to death after she pointed a fake gun at them.

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Complex Original

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A 25-year-old woman was shot to death by police officers in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday after officials say she made a threatening gesture toward the officers with a fake pistol.

Police told WVEC that the undercover investigators were staking out a parking lot as part of an unrelated investigation when they saw India M. Beaty pull a gun out on a man she was arguing with. According to police officials, the officers, who were undercover but were wearing vests reading "police," gave Beaty "verbal commands," but she refused to cooperate and made a "threatening motion" with the gun. That's when the officers shot her. 

The officers provided first aid, but Beaty died at the scene. Later, they realized the pistol was a replica that doesn't actually fire. The cops are eight and six-year veterans the force. They've been placed on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated. The police department released this photo of the replica gun. 

In an interview with the Virginian-Pilot, Beaty's family members disputed the police department's account of the shooting. Her father told the newspaper he wanted "justice," while her sister said the facts just didn't make sense.

"She's very smart, very intelligent. I don't believe she was brandishing a weapon," she said. "Her automatic reaction would have been to drop and say, 'It's not real.' She would not have gone to jail over a toy gun."​

Beaty was reportedly engaged and was taking care of her girlfriend's four children, who she considered to be her own. The last public post on her Facebook page reads "Da bae asleep and da kids r too ‪#‎whoupwitme‬."

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