Tamir Rice was murdered. Yes, I said it.
Someone needs to.
Watch the video, the entire eight minutes of it. I could have grabbed the last 30 seconds of Tamir’s life but there is something important you will be missing if you don’t watch the whole thing. Something innocent and child-like, something young Black children rarely get to be anymore.
Watch the video and see if you can see past your partisan bullshit and see just a child, being a child and dying because someone couldn’t be bothered to give a damn about him, as a person. For all you folks who will say this child is dead because they followed policy. We need new damn policies.
I watched the entire seven minute and forty second version of this film. For more than six minutes the boy is just walking around, minding his own business, doing nothing in particular.
Know that while he is doing nothing, someone is reporting him as threatening people in the park with a gun.
When the child sits down on the bench in the park he is probably just resting but little did he know he would be dead in two minutes.
The police do not arrive on the scene and park a discrete distance away to ASSESS the situation. They do not arrive at a distance to DETERMINE THE NATURE OF THE THREAT.
They instead drive up within three feet of their subject. They do not ANNOUNCE their presence. And they surely couldn’t have because they are leaving their vehicle within three seconds of their arrival.
Two seconds after the door to the police car is open, the officer is shooting and the child is dead. Only then do they call in shots fired.
To sum this up:
The police could have arrived at a distance and announced their intention, while still within their vehicle (as they do when they pull me over to the side of the road, with their internal loud-speaking system).
“This is the police. Put your weapon on the ground and step back. Put your hands behind (or above) your head.”
Once the boy complies (and he most assuredly would since HE KNEW he was armed with a toy gun) they would have been able to approach and determine the nature of the threat called in and the boy playing in the park were NOT the same thing.
And Tamir Rice would still be alive. This is negligence, pure and simple. Neither of these policemen should still be allowed to be remain custodians of the law. Their blatant disregard for young Black men is clear in their approach and use of unnecessary force.
Rest assured, there will be another media shuffle where they vilify this child or his family, call him dangerous and his death was a boon to society. And these two officers will get two weeks of paid vacation. At least at home, they won’t kill anyone else.
UPDATE: From Policy.MIC
Tamir Rice’s 14-year-old sister was handcuffed and left to watch her 12-year-old brother dying in the snow after he was shot by a Cleveland police officer on Nov. 22, 2014, as seen in a new video released by the city late Wednesday. The teen, who was tackled and detained as she tried to approach her wounded brother, witnessed the ordeal unfold from the back of a police cruiser less than 10 feet from his body.
The disturbing new details, which match the account given by Rice’s mother, Samaria, at a press conference in December, are taken from an extended surveillance video clip obtained by the Northeast Ohio Media Group. City officials had initially released a short portion of the video and refused to release the full version to the public.
Tamir Rice was confronted by officers while waving an air pistol in an empty Cleveland park. Officer Timothy Loehmann, seen in the video exiting from the passenger side door, opens fire less than two seconds after the stepping out of the vehicle.
Here is the full 30-minute clip. Rice’s sister approaches the scene from the left-hand side at the 1:42 mark:
“This has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen,” Akron, Ohio-based attorney Walter Madison told Cleveland.com after watching the extended video.
No help: Neither the first-year officer who shot Rice, nor his partner Frank Garmback, appear to offer the wounded boy medical aid or comfort. Garmback is the one seen confronting Rice’s sister and pushing her to the ground. The first person to administer first aid is an FBI agent who arrived on the scene by chance.
Paramedics arrive eight minutes after the first shot is fired, and Rice is stretchered into an ambulance about five minutes later.
Unfit for duty: Hours before they received extended surveillance tape Wednesday, the Northeast Ohio Media Group also reported that Loehmann failed an exam to become a deputy with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department in September 2013. According to internal documents, his application was denied after he scored a 46% on a written cognitive test. Seventy percent is considered a passing grade.
Mic, . “Watch the Shocking New Tamir Rice Video the Cleveland Police Didn’t Want You to See.” Mic.com. N.p. Web. 10 Jan. 2015. <http://www.mic.com>
The video is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. A little boy losing his life and, for what? Because he was playing. And making matters worse, it feels like hardly anyone is speaking out about it or at least that society at large isn’t nearly as outraged as one would expect. In fact, people are totally trivializing it. When I read comments on news stories, so many people say the police did what they had to do or that the boy was at fault or his parents didn’t teach him right. I don’t even know how to process it.
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