A few months back, a video was made public showing the police shooting and killing Tamir Rice, outraging many. The biggest issue in that case was within two seconds of arriving on scene the Police were already shooting. It was what appeared to be another case of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’. The city of Cleveland however has recently announced who they think is at fault, and it’s not the cops.
According to the city, the shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice was his fault. Never mind the fact that within two seconds of arriving on scene, they had already shot Tamir. To anyone that watched the video, there is no way to argue this wasn’t a case of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’. To say that the shooting was Tamir’s fault is outrageous. Sure, the officers thought that the gun was real, disregarding the fact that the original 911 caller had specified that the gun probably wasn’t real, but that doesn’t mean that Tamir deserved to die that day.
When arriving upon the scene of a 12 year old kid in a park gazebo with what Police believed to be a gun, instead of parking on the street, and keeping their distance like rational people, they decided to drive into the park, and immediately begin shooting. No “drop your weapon”, or anything like that. They arrive, they shoot. End of story. Isn’t that the bigger issue at hand here? To say that the kid basically had it coming to him, and that it was his own fault is outrageous and irresponsible on the part of the city. What does that say to the other police officers? That it’s okay to shoot first and ask questions later? This is the fundamental problem with policing in America. There is a tremendous lack of oversight, and investigations after such incidents seem to be a waste of time because they never seem to find the officer guilty of anything.
The city’s response came after the family filed a lawsuit against the city of Cleveland claiming the Police had used excessive force in the Tamir Rice incident, and failed to immediately provide first aid to Tamir. When it comes to the claim of excessive force, there is one thing to clarify: It’s not a claim, it’s a fact. You watch the video, and tell me the Police didn’t use excessive force. Two seconds. That’s how long it took to begin shooting. The issue isn’t whether or not Tamir was to blame for his own shooting death; it’s a question of whether or not the Police used excessive force. Tamir was 12, and he had a pellet gun. Had the Police bothered to ask a few questions, they may have found out that the gun wasn’t a huge threat to anyone; instead they killed him.
Understandably, this response from the city has people outraged.
There may however be some justice in this case yet, as the city says the Cuyahoga County Sherriff’s office is still investigating Tamir’s death. From watching the video, it’s pretty clear what happened on that fateful day. It’d be pretty hard to argue any other way and somehow call this a ‘justified’ shooting. Had the Police simply parked on the street, asked a few questions, and acted rationally, there’s a good chance Tamir may still be alive. The city’s response to the lawsuit however is one of the lowest things they could do. Asking a few questions could have prevented this entire thing. It’s not a question of whether or not Tamir is at fault for his own death. To say that the 12 year old was at fault for his death is irresponsible. The Police are the ones who are supposed to be serving the community, not the ones executing the children of that community. This was a case that could have easily been prevented with some rational thinking. That’s the real issue at hand. Tamir was in a park gazebo with a pellet gun. From afar, it may have looked concerning, but is that cause for execution? Not at all.