West Memphis Council Tables Ban on Toy Guns

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - An effort to ban toy guns in West Memphis after a police officer shot a 12-year-old boy carrying one has been halted as city officials examine similar measures in other cities.

The West Memphis City Council voted 9-0 yesterday to indefinitely table a measure banning the guns after the death of DeAuntae Farrow.  Senior deputy city clerk Cindy Greenwood says council members had concerns the measure as written wouldn't face legal scrutiny.

Greenwood says the city attorney would review the measures and others across the nation to craft a new proposal for the council to examine in the future.

Farrow and 13-year-old relative Unseld Nance were playing outside their apartment building June 22 when Farrow was shot.  A state police investigation concluded that the officer shot the boy because he was holding a toy gun that appeared to be real.  But Farrow's family has argued the boy held a bag of chips and a soda at the time of the shooting.

The officer who fired the fatal shot, Erik Sammas, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Arkansas State Police, the U.S. Justice Department, the West Memphis Police Internal Affairs Bureau and two special prosecutors assigned to examine the case.  Sammis has since resigned.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)