- Category: Investigation
- Published: Friday, 08 January 2016 14:17
- Written by Access Ohio 2040
- Hits: 821
On November 22, 2014 a 12-year-old boy was alone at a recreation center in Cleveland, Ohio. Like most little boys his age, he was excited to receive a toy gun for Christmas, so he could play make-believe good guy, bad guy with his friends. They say the difference between boys and girls is that you can give a little girl a stick and she will turn into a magical fairy wand, making all of her wishes come true with imaginary star-dust. However, little boys will turn that same stick into a make believe weapon, torturing his friends, siblings, and the family dog as if he has all the power. The beauty is in watching their imagination run away. That infamous day in November, however, one little boy not only had his imagination playtime cut short, his life was taken and the state of Ohio said he deserved it.
Tamir Rice was that 12-year-old playing with his pellet gun made of plastic in a park in Cleveland, Ohio. An anonymous bystander called the police, stating to the dispatcher that there was a Black male who appears to be a kid playing with what might be a toy gun. The dispatch radioed a nearby squad car on duty to check out the situation, neglecting to tell the police officers that the Black male could possibly be a kid playing around with a toy gun. Rookie officer Timothy Loehmann and his partner drove up close to Rice and, within a recorded two seconds, shot him to death.
Caught on the park surveillance camera, the police officers did not instruct the 12-year-old to put his weapon down. They did not ask him any questions. The camera showed that Rice did not have the gun in his hand. After Rice was gunned down, the toy fell from his waistband. Rice was not given the opportunity to explain he got a toy gun for Christmas. He wasn't even treated like a criminal. He was treated like an animal hunted.
The nation watched in horror over and over as the news played the video recording of the 12-year-old being gunned down within seconds. Officer Loehmann was found innocent by a grand jury of the state of Ohio. Prosecutor Timothy McGinty presented evidence to the grand jury that Loehmann had every right to kill Rice because there was no way for the officers to know if the gun was real or not. Loehman stated that Rice looked like a grown male. He did not see that he was a child. What has the country up in arms, protesting in masses about the unjust verdict is that the state of Ohio is an open carry state. This means anyone licensed to own a firearm has the legal right to carry it out in the open any time he or she wants to. McGinty, Loehmann, and the grand jury conveniently forgot about this very important law. Protesters are now shouting outside of McGinty's home for misleading the grand jury.
If Rice was a grown man, by law, he should still be alive. He would have had every right to be out in public with his firearm. Loehmann, however, did not see Rice as an American citizen with rights. He saw a Black male with a weapon and he killed him on sight. Loehmann stated he feared for his life. However, the video showed that the 12-year-old did not lunge or make any sort of threatening gesture towards the officer within those two seconds of the police car pulling up. He did not have the gun pointed at the officers. Loehmann's story did not match what America witnessed on the surveillance recording.
The grand jury set Loehman free to kill more innocent little Black boys. The message that the grand jury sent out to Black Americans living in the state of Ohio is that it is open season on 12-year-old Black boys. A police officer will be well within his right to gun him down like an animal if the officer feels, at all, like the little boy looks dangerous.
Black America, protect your children. The hunt is on.