Saturday, December 13, 2014

While You Were Sleeping: Tamir Rice Shooting

There was another shooting and death of a young Black a few weeks ago. For some reason this one didn't get as much attention as others. 12 year old Tamir Rice was shot and killed in Cleveland, Ohio by a cop. This is all on video so I think people need to stop asking for cameras on police thinking it is gonna stop them from killing people. Eric Garner was choked and died on crystal clear footage in broad daylight by New York police and that guy wasn't even indicted.

That's for another post. Back to this story.

Officer Timothy Loehmann, who is 26 years old, responded to a call of someone with a gun. This is all on tape. He showed up, the kid reached for his fake gun, and was shot and killed. When seeing the video I said to myself two things. “Wow! That cop didn't wait for his car to stop moving!” and “Why the hell was that kid waving a fake gun around?!”

The gun used looked real. It had the orange safety cap missing. That safety cap generally tells the public that this is a toy and not real. When you take it off the shit looks real. This is the actual gun used. An airsoft that shoots pellets. How fake does this look to you?

Someone that called 911 to report someone with a gun told the dispatcher that it was a child and it may be a toy. This information was not relayed to officers who as far as they knew were going to handle someone waving a gun around in public. The police spotted Tamir, sped towards him expecting him to run, slammed on the brakes, and shot him.

The coroner released their report stating that Tamir died from a “gunshot wound of torso with injuries of major vessel, intestines and pelvis” and it was ruled a homicide. A medical examiner named Thomas P. Gilson wrote in his report “it is my opinion that Tamir E. Rice, a 12-year-old black adolescent male, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the abdomen which injured his inferior vena cava, intestines, and pelvis. The decedent was shot by law enforcement during legal intervention.”

The family of Tamir filed a wrongful death suit against Officer Loehmann and his training officer Frank Garmback. They believe that excessive force was used as well as being upset that Tamir lay for four minutes on the ground before getting medical help. Information about Loehmann was released detailing problems he has had regarding firearms training.

“He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal.”

I was talking to a few people about this killing and I believe that the blame falls on everyone that was involved. I'll work backwards. The dispatcher that didn't give all the information messed up big time. They did not do their job properly and it cost a kid his life. The police showed up run and gun style and killed a kid. Why not attempt to handle the situation from a distance? I had the same problem with the Michael Brown case. No reason why a cop should have been close enough to have their gun grabbed.

Why was Tamir walking around pointing what looked like a very real gun at anyone? Where did he get it from? Did he not know that being a Black male, let alone one with a weapon, was not a good idea? I know it sounds like I am putting the blame on a child that was shot and killed but I direct this more at his parents. There is not kid, let alone a Black one, that should have a toy gun that looks like this. Ever. When I was a kid I had an Uzi that looked very real and my father took it away. Who knows what would've happened if I had kept it or aimed it at the wrong person?

This is yet another death that did not need to happen. Loehmann is on paid leave right now while Tamir's family wants him jailed, fined, or worse for what he did. I think there are a lot of people that need to lose sleep because they all had a hand in the death of this kid. This isn't just another cop kills Black man and gets away with it situation. This is a public instance of a family and the law making huge mistakes that ended deadly.

The questions I asked in the previous two paragraphs are real questions I'd like to hear answered. Once you make this into a Black kid/White cop situation minds are immediately made up. I look at this as a social problem that is being handled terribly by those that are supposed to raise us and those that are supposed to protect us.

Click here for previous While You Were Sleeping.  


Hazel said...

My question is, what does a cop have to do to a black man to get arrested in the US?

America, violence, race, justice. An absolutely toxic mix.

Dante said...

It depends on a lot of things that no one really has any control over. A good lawyer, what state you're in, criminal history of the Black guy and/or cop, money, social standing. Its never as easy as it should be. You murder someone you go to jail, especially if it is on video. Especially that. But even then it doesn't really help.

You do more time and get in more trouble for hurting a dog than killing a Black guy. I know I'm not worth that much. It sucks having the world agree.