In November last year (2014), 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead by a police officer while playing in a park in his native Cleveland, because he was carrying an airsoft gun, which shoots non-lethal plastic pellets.
Featured Image VIA
Someone saw the kid carrying the gun in the park, the cops showed up, and the then-rookie patrol officer shot Tamir within two seconds of the car skidding to a stop next to him.
There were questions over whether the cop told Tamir to raise his hands before shooting him in the short amount of time it took for him to fire two shots (one hit the boy).
On Monday, a grand jury cleared both Timothy Loehmann (the officer responsible for shooting Tamir) and his partner, Frank Garmback, of all criminal charges despite the existence of surveillance footage of the incident.
Here are some pretty damning Tweets from the court room following the grand jury’s decision:
Prosecutor McGinty says Rice should have known better before playing in the park, because he "looked older"
— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) December 28, 2015
Naturally, the Rice family aren’t happy with the result and aren’t about to accept it — via their lawyer:
Not to justify the Loehmann’s actions or anything, but it’s worth noting that the gun did look fairly legit:
Keep in mind also that guns are legal to carry in Cleveland (though not by 12-year-olds I’d imagine). Tamir had his tucked into his waist when he was shot.
So now what? Do the Rice family carry on fighting for justice while the rest of the world moves on? Or does this kick off another round of ugly protests across America? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
For comparison’s sake, here’s what it looks like when lethal gun use is entirely warranted.