Police Are Warning People Not to Use This iPhone Case — It Can Get You Killed

Police Are Warning People Not to Use This iPhone Case — It Can Get You Killed
Source: eBay
Source: eBay

It should go without saying, but don't walk around with the grip of a pistol sticking out of your back pocket if you don't want anyone to bother you — or kill you. Even if that grip is actually an iPhone case.

The New York Police Department's 112th Precinct Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison posted on Twitter warning people not to use this pistol-grip iPhone case. She hashtagged the photo with #BeSmart and #BeSafe.

Law enforcement aren't the only ones worried about how this case could put people in danger. Joash Fynx, a black 19-year-old from the Bronx, knows a gag like that is an accident waiting to happen in some neighborhoods. "If a person of my race had something like that, it would be really dangerous," he told the New York Daily News. "Something like that can easily be mistaken for a weapon, especially in a bad neighborhood."

Source: eBay

Where do they come from? Some of these cases are sold by eBay users based in China. They come in hot pink, white and black and fit most iPhone 4 through 6 models. When you see them up close, they're cheap plastic with no moving parts — not particularly realistic, as fake guns go. Still, hundreds have been sold. Mic also spotted the gun case on an online tchotchke retailer called JapanTrendShop.com. 

Source: eBay

Carrying this case can be dangerous: "If I were a cop and it was dark and I saw this (case) on a person, my first thought would be to pull my gun and defuse the threat," Brooklyn community activist Tony Herbert said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News

Real cops might too. According to a 2014 National Journal article, two Supreme Court rulings from the 1980s put into play the concept that a police officer's actions must be "objectively reasonable," meaning, an officer needs to be reasonably concerned about their safety in order to use necessary force. Pulling a weapon in the proximity of a police officer usually spikes threat levels. Even if there's a phone at the end of that pistol grip, most law enforcement won't wait until the thing is completely drawn to find out. It all comes down to discretion.

And unfortunately, American law enforcement hasn't been great at discretion lately.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Max Plenke

Max Plenke is a staff writer at Mic, where he covers breaking news, climate science, health and the future. His work has appeared in Esquire, GQ and Wallpaper. Send story tips to max@mic.com.

MORE FROM

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.