Even as the months drag on, many across the country are still trying to make sense of acts of unspeakable violence committed against American citizens. Perhaps none of those incidents was more disturbing than the killing of a 12-year old child last November.
But some confounding news out of Cleveland, Ohio today is only serving to further trouble the water. Here’s the main story from Evelyn Diaz at BET.com…
The police shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice made headlines last year and incited the anger of the Black Lives Matter movement, but two experts are now reporting that the action was reasonable and justified.
In reports prepared for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, the action taken against Rice, who was holding a pellet gun at the time of his death, has been labeled “objectively reasonable.”
One report concludes, “There can be no doubt that Rice’s death was tragic and, indeed, when one considers his age, heartbreaking. However, for all of the reasons discussed herein, I conclude that Officer [Timothy] Loehmann’s belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat.”
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said a grand jury will decide whether Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, will face charges.
Prior to joining the Cleveland Police Department, Officer Loehmann had been found unfit to serve by a previous law enforcement institution, citing an inability to follow directions, and poor handgun performance. The reports have already come under heavy criticism for failing to take the officer’s past actions into account.
As we’ve seen in Texas, there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of all Americans. But these reports serve as a reminder that policing is only one part of a very complicated justice system. If standards within the law can find a heinous situation such as this one reasonable, then it’s time for Americans to start changing the law.
That doesn’t happen without your V-O-T-E.
(photo credit: The Daily Dot)