On March 1st, Thomas Siderio, a White 12-year-old, allegedly fired a 9mm handgun one time at an unmarked police car. The bullet shattered the rear window. The police car was attempting to stop a 17-year-old friend of Siderio. The 17-year-old has not been identified.
Afterward, Siderio dropped the handgun and ran. He was chased by Philadelphia police officer Edsaul Mendoza, who fired his gun three times. He alleged fired the third shot while Siderio was laying face down on the ground with the gun forty feet away. According to the District Attorney, “Thomas Siderio no longer had a gun and had no ability to harm him. But he fired a shot through his back, nonetheless, that killed him.”
Now, Philadelphia prosecutors have charged Mendoza, a Black male, with first-degree murder. He has also been charged with third degree murder, manslaughter, and gun crimes. He is currently being held without bond.
P0 Mendoza pursued Thomas Siderio, running up the middle of Barbara Street. He fired at Thomas Siderio a total of three times. His first shot was at the bottom of the block, near the intersection of and Barbara Streets. He fired his second shot, midblock, after Thomas Siderio had discarded his gun. Unarmed, Thomas Siderio then stopped running, and either fell or dove to the ground. P0 Mendoza then fired his third shot from less than ten feet away from the child, and fatally wounded him. Within one minute after the third shot, P0 Mendoza’s partner, P0 Camacho, approached and asked P0 Mendoza where the gun was located. P0 Mendoza told P0 Camacho that Thomas Siderio had thrown the gun “somewhere around there,” pointing back along the flight path in the direction of the gun, which P0 Camacho immediately located.
There has been no national media outrage, no marches, no statements from politicians, and no trending hashtags. It is simply being ignored. If Siderio had been Black, the national media would be telling us how the 5’11” kid was “a gentle giant,” “a good boy,” and “turning his life around.”
Everyone knows that if the races had been reversed, legions of media and activists would be agitating for “mostly peaceful” protests rights now.
Philadelphia is currently experiencing its highest homicide rate in the city’s history.