Tamir Rice and the Hell Up In Cleveland

And you have seen men in uniform drive by and murder Tamir Rice, a twelve-year-old child whom they were oath-bound to protect. And you have seen men in the same uniforms pummel Marlene Pinnock, someone’s grandmother, on the side of a road. And you know now, if you did not know before, that the police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy your body.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between The World And Me

Tamir Rice’s killers were not indicted for killing the 12-year-old child.

Tamir Rice
Tamir Rice

Early on the morning/afternoon of December 28 in the year of 2015, the world learned that Timothy Loehmann will not be facing any charges for shooting Tamir Rice. After much deliberation, ignoring of the evidence, and basing their findings on the fact that the young man had a toy gun, there is no prosecution, indictment, or court case before any judge. All that the Black people of Cleveland are expected to do from this point forward is be perfect citizens and maybe, just maybe, they won’t be killed. I guess the entire point of it all was to make sure that these citizens know that the police can end their lives with little to no recourse. There will be nothing happening to Timothy Loehmann but a pat on the back and a return to work.

But then, there was some information released on Twitter that I wish was never put together. Then again, this information is more pressing than my personal feelings. So, I saved it as soon as I saw it, to make sure we all took a look at what it all means.


Oh, hell.

Tamir Rice Is No Isolated Incident In Cleveland

So, Samuel Sinyangwe released a Google document that gathered up all of the people killed by the police since 2012. I was relieved that it was only 10 people (as bad as that sounds). However, from the standpoint of a Black person in America, that is the only relief I could find from these numbers. After looking at the document (with corresponding links to articles and such), here is what the numbers and info tells us:

  • Out of the 10 people killed by the police, all ten of them were Black. That’s a whopping 100% of these people being Black.
  • Out of those 10 people, 7 of those ten were unarmed. That is a petrifying 70 percent.
  • 2 of those 10 were younger than 20 years old (including Tamir Rice). Both of these young men were unarmed.
  • 60% of these people were between the ages of 20 to 40.
  • 20% of these victims were women. Oh, and both of these women were unarmed.
  • 90 percent of the deaths were by gunshot. The sole 10% was by taser/physical restraint.
  • 80% of those deaths faced no charges. 20% of those deaths were charged and acquitted. [1]

These numbers should be alarming. Looking at the situation of these unarmed victims, we have some glaring consistencies. For example, there was the case where the police filled the windshield of a car with bullet holes killing Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. And please don’t forget about how Kenneth Smith was killed. At least, they won the civil suit. Still, that isn’t going to bring Kenneth back. And any number of civil suits won’t bring back these people (and that includes Tamir Rice).

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice And The Cleveland Issue

Statistically, this Tamir Rice case played out as expected. Nobody was charged with a crime. If they were charged with a crime, they may have eventually been acquitted of all charges. We should find it disturbing that the police can take Black lives away and it really doesn’t matter. We should find it disturbing that it is always a Black person. At the end of the day, this comes as no surprise as to how things are handled in Cleveland.

The police have the authority to take us off of this Earth. It is about time that we took that authority away from them.