Christmas is Over

Image Source: Portlandia Tumblr Despite the fact that we still have one more holiday to go before “the holidays” officially come to a close. I think it’s safe to say that Christmas is most certainly over. People might still have their trees and twinkle lights up (Guilty!), but the most wonderful time of the year has ended. If you require confirmation of that sad reality, look no further.

Today, a grand jury decided not to bring charges against the cop who gunned down a twelve year old kid. For the record, Tamir Rice didn’t get his grand jury. What he got was a speedy trial and an execution by a skiddish cop with an itchy trigger finger. Remember that, because whatever argument you just formulated in your head, about the myriad ways I’m wrong, doesn’t matter. That kid’s dead, and the guy who killed him won’t even have to go on trial to prove what he did was a mistake.

A grand jury stopping just short of accountability isn’t an oversight, it’s obscene. Timothy J. McGinty, Cuyahoga County prosecutor, called the events that lead to Tamir’s death “a perfect storm of human error.” To Mr. McGinty I say, no sir. Those events were a tragedy, and this most recent development is a blatant example of police impunity and disregard for human life.

The person who called the cops on Tamir Rice specifically mentioned that he appeared to be a juvenile and indicated that they thought the gun was probably fake. Even though the 911 operator who took that call neglected to pass this information on to the cops, it should be noted. If that caller could see that Tamir Rice was just a kid, likely waving around a toy gun, then the police--who are trained at spotting and handling crimes--should have been able to discern that as well.

Image Source: Family Photo of Tamir Rice via the New York Times

What it comes down to is this: If you scare easily and you’ve got an itchy trigger finger, you should not be a police officer. You are not doing your job well when you kill innocent children. Finally, any system (i.e. grand jury) which lets cops like these off the hook, without so much as an indictment, is just as culpable as the cops themselves.

Cleveland Officer Will Not Face Charges in Tamir Rice Shooting Death – nytimes.com