feature: police will not face charges over the killing of tamir rice

December 29, 2015

A US grand jury has decided that Cleveland policeman Timothy Loehman, the white officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014, will not face charges for what can only be described as murder – as well as others involved in the case. Did they expect us not to notice because it’s the holidays? Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty recommended the grand jurors’ decision. “Mr. McGinty said that no matter how tragic the circumstances involving Tamir’s death, the law gives the benefit of the doubt to officers who must make split-second decisions,” state The New York Times. WTF? This is a split-second decision that robbed a child of their life – a child who was on a playground with a toy gun, in a state where openly carrying an actual gun is legal (the state of Ohio is in fact one of the least restrictive states when it comes to firearms). We must also remember that Rice was not only shot, but he was given no immediate medical assistance (just like Mike Brown in Ferguson). Charles M. Blow writes:

“Tamir’s 14-year-old sister, Tajai, was in a nearby recreation center when she said she heard a gunshot. She said someone told her that a boy had been shot — her own brother. She raced to his aid, but as the video shows, one of the officers tackled her, handcuffed her and stuffed her into the back of the police cruiser, just feet away from where her brother was bleeding out onto the snow-dappled ground. She could not reach him. Her arms could not cradle his body and plead for him to hang on. Her hands could not stroke his cheek, and she could not whisper hopefully, “It’s going to be O.K.” Her eyes could not gaze into his and say what sisters are able to say without saying anything: “I love you.” Tamir deserved that, but the officers made sure that she could not provide it. Four minutes passed without anyone offering the boy aid or comfort. Four long minutes he lay there, still alive, with the burn of a bullet in his abdomen.”

Lawyers for Tamir Rice’s family made the following statement yesterday: “It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment. Even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, Prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers and tell the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified.” Justifying murder! This madness needs to stop. RIP Tamir. #BlackLivesMatter

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor