Case of Tamir Rice shows double standard


A Justice Department statement about the Tamir Rice case haunts me.

“Based on this evidence and the high burdens of the applicable federal laws, career prosecutors have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Tamir did not reach for his toy gun; thus, there is insufficient evidence to establish that Officer Loehmann acted unreasonably under the circumstances,” it said.

There wasn’t enough evidence that a 12-year-old boy did not reach for his TOY gun means the adult supposedly trained to de-escalate, to protect the public, was acting accordingly. That makes it hard to think about anything else today — that it wasn’t “unreasonable” to shoot and kill a 12-year-old boy who has a toy gun.

It’s another reminder of two justice systems in America: one for whites and another for anyone else.

If Tamir Rice were still alive, he’d be about the age of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen charged with shooting three people (killing two of them) during protests for the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Rittenhouse allegedly murdered two people, confessed and walked directly through police and went home. I doubt Rittenhouse would be alive if he were black. I also doubt he would have been praised by Republican politicians (including the president) and media.

Another recent reminder: the suicide bombing on Christmas morning in Nashville by Anthony Warner. It has now come out that in August of last year, the bomber’s girlfriend reported he was building bombs in his RV. Police investigated, but stopped when Warner wouldn’t let them search his RV. It’s hard to imagine that if Anthony Warner was anything but a middle-age white man, he wouldn’t have been able to carry out his attack.

This means nothing but pain and heartbreak. Take a few minutes and think about a young person in your life, putting them in Tamir’s shoes. Imagine being told the person who killed your kid was acting reasonably. I hope that opens some eyes and shows why it’s important to say “Black Lives Matter.” Tamir Rice and his family were our neighbors. Their lives matter. It’s our duty as Ohioans to love them. Even if we can’t change the outcome, we can show we are in pain, too, that this was wrong, that we don’t want our state to look like this.

If you agree, object to elected officials about the recently passed dangerous stand-your-ground bill. Tamir Rice is dead because of bad judgment on behalf of someone supposedly trained and prepared to react in a potentially dangerous situation. Imagine how many more similar shootings will take place when that power is placed in the public’s hands.




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