Tamir Rice (2002-2014), a 12-year-old American elementary school student, was gunned down on November 22nd 2014 by police in Cleveland, Ohio. He was at a playground on a Saturday afternoon playing with a toy gun. He was Black, the killer cop was White.
The phone call to police said that a Black person, “probably juvenile”, was pointing a gun at people. The gun was “probably fake”.
The police said they saw Rice sitting with others. They saw him put the gun in his waistband. They got out of the car and told him, three times, to put his hands up. He reached into his waistband and pulled out the gun. They shot him dead. They said Rice was maybe 20 years old. (Most Whites think Black teenaged boys are at least four years older than they are.)
The security camera showed a boy playing alone in the snow and repeatedly drawing a gun and aiming it, but not at anyone, like he was playing. When the police arrived he does not have the gun out. The police car comes up onto the grass and before it even stops, the police shoot him down. That quick.
White empathy: They shot him in the chest and stomach and then left him there to die in pain. Four minutes later an FBI agent shows up and tries to save his life. (Most Whites lack empathy for Blacks, as if they were not even human. Police who see Blacks that way are more likely to use force.)
Tamir Rice died at the hospital the following morning.
Demonization: During the week that followed, Thanksgiving week, the Cleveland press put stories online about his mother’s and father’s police record.
Rice’s gun was an airgun, the kind boys play with. They look like a real gun but have an orange marker. The marker often falls off. Rice’s airgun did not have one.
Ohio law allows people to openly carry guns in public.
Ohio is the same state where John Crawford was gunned down in August after he picked up an airgun at Walmart. His gun still had its orange marker. Not that it made a difference: the police still rushed him and gunned him down even though he was not pointing the gun at anyone. The grand jury saw no probable crime.
Tamir Rice’s killer is Tim Loehmann, fresh out of Cleveland’s police academy. He said,
“I was right there and he went for the gun. I had no choice.”
He used to be a police officer in Independence, Ohio, a 96.6% White suburb of Cleveland. He was forced out because crying threw off his aim when shooting a gun.
Loehmann’s father was a police officer in Harlem in the 1970s.
Loehmann is on paid leave. After the police investigate themselves, it will likely go to a grand jury.
Protests followed. Protesters want the police to wear body cameras. They want the civilian review board to be picked by the people, not by the mayor.
- Tamir Rice update – events up to October 11th 2015 + updates afterwards.
- YouTube: the security camera video
- Identities.Mic: Disturbing Study Proves That Police View Black Children Differently
- Ferguson II – same week
- John Crawford – same state
- James Holmes – armed to the teeth, kills 12, injures 70, yet was taken alive.
- The police
- White people