Chanhassen, MN – A family is devastated after they called the police to help their 16-year-old son and the officers who responded shot and killed him instead, highlighting an ongoing trend in which the officers who promise to “serve and protect” their community are taking the lives of its most vulnerable members.
Archer Amorosi was killed on Friday morning after his parents reached out to the same police officers who said they would help with no questions asked, as the teenager was battling mental health issues, and appeared to be suicidal. His father told KARE 11 News that the family called a crisis hotline and the police on Thursday, and then called the police again on Friday, which resulted in the fatal encounter.
“My ex-wife called them because they said if they came back they would take him in for an evaluation. They said wouldn’t ask questions. Instead, they killed him,” His father said.
It is unclear whether there is video footage of the shooting, as reports claim that the Carver County Sheriff’s Office does not use body cameras—however, the scene may have been recorded by the dash camera on one of the squad cars.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) agency is already attempting to defend the unnamed officers responsible for Amorosi’s death, by claiming that the deputies used a Taser on the teenager before two of them opened fire with their guns.
Amorosi was pronounced dead at the scene, and while reports claim that police were called after he threatened his mother with knives and a baseball bat, a family friend told The Free Thought Project that Amorosi was unarmed, and was killed because he tried to get up off of the ground.
“My daughter spoke directly with a close friend of the mother of Archer, the mom specifically told her that he was unarmed, that they shot him for trying to get back up,” the friend said.
While the public waits for more details to be released, the community is heartbroken and the Associated Press reported that “distraught relatives were openly crying in the driveway of the home” and that “people coming and going from the home said they were friends and classmates of the teen but declined to comment until the family had decided to do so.”
Amorosi was preparing to start his junior year at Minnetonka High School, where he was an active member of the student body and he played football and lacrosse. The school’s principal, Jeff Erickson, released a statement via email sharing his condolences regarding the devastating loss of the young student.
“It has been widely reported in the local media that MHS incoming junior, Archer Amorosi, passed away Friday,” Erickson wrote. “This situation is heartbreaking and I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to Archer’s parents and family, his friends, and the entire Minnetonka High School community. I know this situation is particularly devastating to those of you who knew Archer well.”
Rest easy Archer ???? pic.twitter.com/ljiR3jAMAL
— Minnetonka HS Lax (@MHSLaxCapts) July 13, 2018
As shocking and heartbreaking as this loss is, it is, unfortunately, not uncommon in the United States. Even if the boy had threatened to take his own life at one point, his life was ultimately taken by the officers who were supposed to help him and to talk him down off of the ledge.
Today I lost a Brother ???? I was just talking to Archer the other day and we was talking bout the good times we had during football. This day came to early ????????♂️???? Long Live Archer A 7-13-18 ???????? Love you boa watch over us ????????@archeramorosi pic.twitter.com/MVC9qdno6o
— Carvon T Gurley (@GurleyCarvon) July 13, 2018
As The Free Thought Project has reported, while police officers receive extensive training on how to accurately fire their weapons, they often receive very little training on how to handle mentally ill individuals, or how to de-escalate situations where a person claims to be suicidal.
In the case of Archer Amorosi, many of the details are still unclear, and it remains to be seen whether the public will be able to see the video footage of the shooting, or whether the officers responsible will be held accountable for their actions.