Growing up in America (and I am sure other places in the world, as well) having a fake gun or a BB gun was pretty standard. Unless you’re not white. Racism is still so alive in America and that needs to be confronted.
it’s not on my police brutality channel, but you can find that *HERE*. And to get to the relevant point in the video please skip over all the other stuff I talk about, please skip to 48 seconds in.
But I digress..
In the wake of the Ferguson decision, with thousands of people in many cities protesting together, unified, I thought maybe this is when change is going to come… Maybe this really is what I’ve been fighting for for over a decade now. At least, it’s the start.
Then I read about Tamir Rice being killed; and my heart sunk. What’s more, this isn’t the only police brutality case during this time of course. But his tragic death is a hard hitting reminder that we need to keep demanding justice and equality. If cops have issue with people who aren’t white, they shouldn’t be a cop. If they are jumpy, they shouldn’t be a cop. Thinking violence and gun shots are the answer, especially to a child who is anything but threatening, is another big indication the police force should be the last place they belong.
Tonight I watched the recently released video footage. This is nothing new, I am sorry to say I have grown accustomed to watching these videos, however, something was different this time and it’s sort of startled me. But I think I’ve figured out what it is… Why I feel so connected with him.
Not only is it that he is the victim of senseless violence; targeted only because of the color of his skin; but mainly because of his honest, child like innocence. He had no idea anyone would ever see him as he waited and it is this, seeing him without any kind of ‘mask’ and just being his honest self would have been inspiring had things gone differently. It is his very normal yet still child like actions which make me feel close to him, somehow.
I assume he was waiting for a ride or something, as he paced back and forth on the side walk, talking on the phone for a short period of time. Bored of the sidewalk, he wandered onto the grass, messing with a few pieces of grass or weeds poking up through the snow. Like most at the age of 12 years old, he quickly begins to look a little bored. Minutes pass by and he continues to pace in the same area as before.
At first he took his BB gun out and had a look at it, then put it away. Later, once boredom seemed to hit, he strikes a pose with his fake gun to pass the time, pointing it at no person for no person was around. It seems someone called, making note to the cops that the gun was probably a toy but the cops paid no attention to this.
Anyhow, growing bored of the random toy gun poses, which he doesn’t do again much less point at any person especially the cops, he instead goes back to pacing in silence, and it is then that I wonder… what was he thinking during those last 10 minutes? I wanna stop the tape, delay it, jump in and tell him get outta here!…. But I can’t so helplessly, I watch him innocently spend his last few minutes on this earth. He feels so close to me I can’t explain it.
He walks around a bit more, and then stands on the curb looking down; kicking bits of ice and snow off the curb with the toe of his shoe; something I commonly do in the winter to pass the time if I have to wait for a ride. My heart was continuously melting with deep sadness and anxiety over him; knowing what was about to occur; knowing what he had no idea was to come. So innocently, he bends over and gathers some snow from the grassy bit, makes a little snow ball, walks back to the sidewalk and tosses it up in the air; watching it splat on the concrete.
He had already won my heart when I saw his photo, but the video for some reason moved me and made me somehow feel close to him, I can’t explain it for as I said, I’ve seen too many of these videos. Somehow, his spirit touched mine greatly.
Watching was at first like when you watch a child play; how you appreciate and adore all the little things they do. He was 12 and seemed to still have a lot of his childhood innocence left. I couldn’t and still can’t help but wondering what was on his mind; what was he thinking as he paced around in the cold, made a snow ball, kicked ice off of the curb…
Was he thinking of his plans for the night? Of who he would show his fake gun to, of what games he could play? Maybe he was thinking about the holidays, or school, or his crush. Maybe he was day dreaming, creating an amazing day dream for himself to save him from his boredom. No one will ever know, and that is tragic; he deserve a voice, and his voice deserved to be heard.
But when it comes down to it, no matter what he was thinking, I’d be willing to bet it never entered his mind that in under 10 minutes he would be taken from his toy weapon… I say he was taken because had he been a white child doing the same things, he would have -at worst- had the BB gun taken away. At worst. But instead, because he was a Black male with a fake gun, who had not acted in any way, shape or form suspicious, he was murdered within seconds by police.
Why his life was stolen so soon is actually a mystery to me. His BB gun was mistaken for a fake gun, I understand that but what I don’t understand is the following…
In one of his last acts, he had gone to sit at a bench and table where he appears to be texting or playing with his phone at times. Other times he seems to lay his head down, whether he pulls out his BB gun to look at it is hard to tell due to the quality of video but even if he had; there was nothing wrong with that. Certainly not something worthy of murder.
Initially, he must have saw the speedy cop car coming his way because Tamir stands up, obviously nervous, his head down like most kids would do before and during trying to explain something. But he didn’t get the chance. That is the last image I saw of him.
The car almost immediately arrives after he stands up, and it does so at a dramatically high speed. From the moment the two cops arrived it was only 1.5 to 2 seconds before gun shots were fired. And that is a truth admitted to by the Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba. However, he had no choice; if you see the video you can tell there is no denying the speed at which he was murdered.
This is not the first child murdered, it is not the first police killing on video, but with the pressure the Ferguson protests and riots happening I hope wholeheartedly he gets justice and these two unjustified cops get prison. That would be ideal, that or capital punishment. I’m against the death penalty in most cases, but when someone can kill and then react as if it were just another day at the office, or like Darren Wilson bluntly admit he “did the right thing”- those sort of people cannot have a conscience. You can’t kill without remorse if you are a human with a good soul. But that is exactly what Wilson did, and from the video footage it looks like that is what they did.
These two cops, Timothy Loehmann (26 years old) and Frank Garmback (46 years old) claim they demanded three times for him to put his hands up. I find that highly unlikely granted the very short amount of time there was between arrival and the trigger being pulled. In fact I find it impossible. He was shot within aprox. 1.5 seconds of arrival, that’s them from the moment they jumped out the car and took ‘position’. That time does Once more, he was 12 and probably scared as a young, Black male with two cops around him. So even if they did it is NOT a police officers place to kill because someone disobeys an order.
I’d like to make it clear however, I don’t believe they told him to put his hands up. There wasn’t enough time.
No matter what, he had no intention of hurting anyone, he was just living his life and going about his day as I assume he normally would when within seconds, he was taken from this world. There is nothing that can be made up or said to justify or even attempt to justify this young males murder. I’ve already seen photos saying he was aiming the gun at them… THESE ARE FAKE! Not only can the video verify that, but the PHOTOS can. I’m sickened to think of the heartless people who let Fox News feed them lies… So sickened.
First, they should know a real gun from a fake one, secondly, the still shots of him with the gun don’t make sense. He wasn’t on the sidewalk; remember those poses he was making? That is what I believe they made those still photos from. It’s zoomed in, no car is seen, no officer is seen, and he isn’t even in the same location.
But once again; if we go to make believe/FANTASY world and pretend he had pointed this stupid gun; that is not a reason to kill. Cops are supposed to be trained. Police in the UK have to deal with situations where people have weapons but they don’t, they have to call for someone to bring a gun. America could learn a thing or two from them.
Will it ever happen? Will America ever demand that police be held to a higher standard so they will think twice before taking an innocent life?
Where is the outrage here? The video clearly shows a 12 year old child, bored, doing nothing wrong only to have someone called the police saying they thought Tamir was holding a toy gun, but wanted cops to make sure. Instead of talking to Tamir Rice, instead of even giving him a warning; instead of doing anything other than act totally animalistic and inhumane, Loehmann rushed onto the scene in a fast moving car, wastes no time in jumping out and in under 2 seconds (not enough time for talk) he has shot Tamir Rice whom jumped out of a fast moving vehicle only to shoot and kill Tamir Rice in less than 1-2 seconds.
There was no time to shout; and the claim that he shouted ‘3 times from the car’ is absurd; the car can be seen speeding forward then coming to a harsh stop immediately before the cop jumps out and fires.
I hope your next lives journeys are blessed and beautiful, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Devin Brown, and the countless other non-white males murdered by the police- both those I knew or worked on, and those I did not. I hope each one has found the beauty deserved in the life or resting period that follows this tragic one.