On Monday, December 28, 2015, a grand jury in Cleveland Ohio failed to indict officers involved with the shooting death of a 12 year old black boy, Tamir Rice. Rice was armed with what was later determined to be a fake gun. The officers are Timothy Loehmann, an officer in training who fired the shot that killed Rice, and Frank Garmback, the officer who was training Loehmann at the time. This decision has sent shockwaves throughout the nation, because it is seen as another example racial injustice against young black males. Emotion from the grand jury’s decision is very thick and can be felt online and in national television media. His family, many African Americans and other Americans who seek social justice want answers.
But the real question we have to ask here is… was the shoot good or bad? Did they violate any rules of the job, or laws of the Untied States as they currently exist? The answer, to the latter at least, appears to be no. The grand jury in Ohio is presumably not all white, or racist. It’s probably a good representation of the area, and not enough people felt there was enough evidence to bring the officers up on criminal charges. In order to meet the bar for evidence of murder and or foul play in Mr. Rice’s death… you have to prove certain things. Like.. intent. Purpose. Timing. Prior history. Negligence.
Quite frankly, this appears to just boil down to a case of bad judgement on the part of the very young Tamir Rice. He brandished a fake gun in a public place. He pointed it at people. Some would say that Ohio is an open carry state, but open carry does not mean open-brandish. The police were called because of his behavior, not knowing that the gun may or may not be fake. In surveillance video, it appears that Rice made a motion of brandishing the gun on the officers before he was killed. Maybe the action happened too quickly, but the fact remains that there was an action that cause a reaction, unfortunately.
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