When news of the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice broke, I tried to be the honest broker I aspire to be.
Tragic outcomes don’t necessarily mean wrongful causes. Sometimes a tragedy occurs and there is no one to blame. This may be one of those times.
No. This was not “one of those times.” I was wrong. Dead wrong. Tamir Rice was executed.
I was impressed by the way in which the police appeared to immediately “come clean” with the details of the shooting, with the disclosure of the 911 recording that showed that they were open to criticism, and yet gave it up anyway. These suggested to me that the police narrative, messy as it was, rung true. And so, I gave the police the benefit of the doubt. I was wrong.
This surveillance video of the killing of Tamir Rice surfaced yesterday.
It’s grainy, but that doesn’t alter what it shows. The police drove up to within feet of a 12-year-old boy, and the officer alit from his cruiser and shot him dead. It was immediate. There were no observations as claimed, no attempt to tell him to put his hands up or drop the airsoft gun. This is what the police claimed happened before the video was released:
The officers saw the boy put the gun in his waistband, according to police. When the officers told him to put his hands in the air, he reached into his waistband and pulled it out, police said. Officers fired two shots, at least one of which hit him in the stomach.
This was a lie. It was all a lie. The cop jumped out of his car and fired. He executed a child. A black child.
Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann , the rookie of the pair, whose name needs to become well-known, shot Tamir Rice dead. Immediately, and without hesitation. Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba “explained”:
“This is not an effort to exonerate, it’s not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong. This is a tragic event,” Tomba said.
Yes, a tragic event, as any other execution of a human being is a tragic event. Even more tragic when one realizes this was a child. The word “tragic” fails to suffice anymore. And Tomba need not fear this will exonerate anyone. That’s the grand jury’s job these days.
This cannot go unnoticed, no matter how weary you’ve grown after the killing of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others. This may well be the worst yet. And yet, there will still be neighbors of yours who won’t care because it’s not them and the kid shouldn’t have had a gun anyway.
Pass the yams and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful this wasn’t your child.