Public Comment

Tamir Rice

Jagjit Singh
Thursday December 31, 2015 - 02:11:00 PM

Once again a family mourns the death of their son, 12 year-old African American, Tamir Rice. On November 22, 2014, a 911 caller reported seeing a young juvenile waving what appeared to be a toy gun. Tragically that vital information was not transmitted to the responding officer. Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir within two seconds after his police cruiser pulled up in front of the boy. Neither Loehmann nor his partner, Frank Garmback administered first aid to save the boy’s life. They then handcuffed Tamir’s 14-year-old sister and threw her to the ground as she ran to her brother’s side, callously leaving the boy to die. Incredibly, an Ohio grand jury returned a decision not to indict following more than a year’s investigation. 

What was omitted during trial was Officer Timothy Loehmann’s resignation from another police force after a “dangerous loss of composure” during firearms training. It is an absolute travesty that police officers who responded made no attempt to assess the situation for themselves but only saw the boy’s skin color and toy gun as a danger to the community which required the use of maximum lethal force. Tamir’s death has become another alarming statistic of a criminal justice system that continues to offer blanket impunity to police officers for their actions when confronting African-Americans. It is extremely doubtful whether a 911 would even have been made if a white boy had been playing with a toy gun. It appears that the prosecutor deliberately cherry-picked the jury and what amounts to gross prosecutorial misconduct recommended a non-indictment. Other experts did find probable cause, including a municipal court judge who recommended Officer Loehmann be charged with murder, manslaughter and reckless homicide.