Monday, October 12, 2015

Deadly Police Shooting of 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice Deemed Justified


12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed last November seconds after Cleveland police arrived to the park where he was playing with a toy gun. It is that toy gun, that no longer had its orange tipped cap, that got the child clipped with no questions asked and no commands given by police officers who felt they were in imminent danger for their lives. Those officers felt they were in imminent danger because of 911 calls about someone waving a gun around a park. A 911 call where the caller said, it's probably a toy, an element of the call that was conveniently not relayed to the responding officers. What ensued on that fateful November day was utter negligence on behalf of the 911 dispatcher, and recklessness on behalf of the Cleveland police. 

Here we are now almost a year later, a grieving family waits for justice, and that justice is now all but denied. The results of independent reports ordered by the Cleveland prosecutor found that Officer Timothy Loehmann, the officer who fired the fatal shot killing Tamir, acted objectionably reasonable and within the realm of reasonableness. 

Pardon me while I lose my lunch. 



Even if officers responded to the scene without the critical information from the 911 caller that the gun in question was a toy, when is it okay to just jump out of your patrol car and just start shooting without command, warning, or identification of who you are and why you're there to the suspect in question? How are those actions that have been played over and over in the surveillance tape objectionably reasonable? How is it within the real of reasonableness for police officers to take whoever's life they see fit without assessing the situation they are encountering on their own first?

Furthermore, prosecutors are supposed to protect the victims, yet here we are again with a prosecutor who has submitted one sided pro-law enforcement evidence to a grand jury with the intention of what, prosecuting a police officer? Highly unlikely. 


The headline out of Cleveland this weekend in the Tamir Rice case isn't a new one. It's the same headline we saw in the Eric Garner case, the Mike Brown case, the Trayvon Martin case. Another Black boy remembered for what happened to him by someone else's actions instead of what he was able to make of himself. 

As a new mother, to a Black boy, I am again saddened and heartbroken. 

Heartbroken because I know one day my son will crawl away from my lap where he snuggles against my belly and latches on to my breast and run full speed ahead into a world where he is considered a thug when he is only a toddler, and a criminal when he will only been a tween. The headlines of Tamir Rice's case makes me look at my son with a hidden fear behind my eyes because I don't know if his young life will be taken from him by some overzealous copper who sees him playing a too real game of cops and robbers. I look at my son and wish he could go back to being a newborn, because even now at only a limitedly mobile 9-month old I see the precocious and inquisitive mark of youth that could be mistaken for an entitled troublemaker who some will believe has to scheme his way toward success instead of earning it on his own. I see the young lost faces of Tamir, Trayvon, Jordan and Mike and then look at my son and wonder what will do him in; skittles and sweet Tea or maybe his hoodie. Will he "Hit the Quan" to hard while it's bumping in his ride, or will he be mistaken for a suspect while on public transportation, or leaving an apartment building late at night. I look at my son and wish I had had a daughter.

If I had had a daughter, then her father could worry about her. Her father could worry about what all father's worry about, when some dude will deflower her flower. But that wouldn't be his only worry. Because our daughters, our Black girls, are not exempt from the pain felt by their bretheren. They too are victims, we just don't remember them. Sandra Bland was not the first, she was just the one that received the attention. Renisha McBride, and Rekia Boyd did not die in vain. They just died in excruciatingly loud silence while there police brutalized and murdered brothers hogged all the spotlight. 

The names change, the faces change, but the headlines stay the same: Black body, murdered by white hands, is justifiable. It is justice. That means in this America, in this unjust criminal system, when Black embodied protesters take to the streets screaming to tops of their lungs, "What do we want Justice. When do we want it now," they do not realize they are chanting and demonstrating for what has already been done. It is time to call on the opposite of justice, it is time to call on lawlessness. What we in the media call riots. At least when businesses are burning, and commerce is cut off then people begin to realize that the "justice" that was served only adds to the severe severance of a country that is tenuously pieced together. 

Hatred and discrimination can no longer be adjudicated. They must be executed, but just like prisoners on death row many innocents will die before anyone ever blinks an eye. 

So I write another one with my hashtag activism:

#RIPTamir #BlackLivesMatter
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