Nathaniel Julius: South Africa police arrested for killing teen
Two South African police officers have been arrested over the deadly shooting of a 16-year-old boy, which had sparked violent street protests.
The family of Nathaniel Julius, who had Down’s syndrome, said he had gone out to buy biscuits when he was shot dead in Johannesburg’s Eldorado Park suburb.
The officers will be charged with murder and “possibly defeating the ends of justice”, said the police watchdog.
The family said Julius was shot after not answering officers’ questions.
However, they added, this was because of his disability.
The police initially said Julius had been caught up in a shootout between officers and local gangsters.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said it had decided to arrest the officers after “careful consideration of the evidence at hand”.
The violent protests led South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to appeal for calm.
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What is Down’s syndrome?
- It is named after the doctor John Langdon Down who was the first to categorise the common features
- Common but not universal features include short stature, round face, almond-shaped and up-slanting eyes
- People with DS have physical and intellectual delays from birth
- The most common form of DS is a genetic disorder whereby a person has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two
- DS has nothing to do with race, nationality, socio-economic status or religion
Source: Global Down Syndrome Foundation