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A 16-year-old boy was mistakenly shot by Oakland police on the 1000 block of Clay Street late Wednesday. The bullet grazed his face. (Courtesy of KTVU)

OAKLAND -- The family of a 16-year-old Oakland boy shot by police on Wednesday night in a case of mistaken identify has hired an attorney to represent them if they sue the city.

Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris said he was retained by the boy's family Friday.

The name of the boy has not been released but he appeared on television news Friday morning wearing a small bandage on the right side of his jaw, where he was grazed by a bullet. Burris said Friday afternoon the family would not be granting any more interviews.

A woman who got off work at Le Cheval restaurant in the 1000 block of Clay Street and was heading to her car around 9:50 p.m. told police she had been knocked to the ground and robbed of her purse by a man with a knife.

Witnesses gave officers descriptions of three suspects -- all black men, ages 22-26, Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said Thursday. He said one of the men wore a black hooded sweatshirt.

Minutes later, witnesses pointed officers in the direction of three people who matched those descriptions who were thought to be approaching another possible victim on a nearby street. An Oakland police officer investigating the call shot the boy when he "perceived a threat," Jordan said Thursday.

The boy and the two friends he was with had nothing to do with the crime and were note armed, police said. Jordan said Thursday that his officers had made a mistake.


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Reach Kristin J. Bender at kbender@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/kjbender.