It seems that the November 2014 Cleveland police killing of a child is just like Hurricane Sandy. Although both were obviously horrific, both were completely understandable, natural disasters. Crap just happens sometimes, soothed McGinty in announcing his grand jury's decision to exonerate the cop who shot Tamir for the "crime" of possessing a toy gun while black.
"It was a perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications," he pronounced at a Monday press conference, coinciding perfectly with Christmas vacation time and some really horrific winter storms that are helping to keep protesters off the nation's streets.
The officer, another Timmy with the last name Loehmann, had absolute reason to fear for his life as a black boy reached for his toy gun, insisted the prosecutor. McGinty forgot to mention that Loehmann has previously been fired from another police department for emotional lability issues, before being welcomed with open arms by the Kleveland Kops Klan.
From the New York Times:
McGinty said the benefit of the doubt should always be given to police officers who often make split-second decisions about whether to kill people. If Loehmann felt in his own paranoid brain that a child presented a threat to him, then too bad for that child.The case began when a caller to 911 said a male was pointing a gun at people in a Cleveland park. The caller added that the gun was “probably fake,” and that the person waving it was “probably a juvenile.” But those caveats were not relayed to Officer Loehmann or his partner, Frank Garmback, who was driving the patrol car. Officer Loehmann, who is white, opened fire within seconds of arriving at the park. Officer Garmback was also spared any charges.The shooting in Cleveland came just two days before a grand jury in Missouri declined to indict a white police officer in Ferguson who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old. The Ferguson case became one of a series of police killings that drew protests — in New York, Baltimore, North Charleston, S.C., and other cities — by demonstrators denouncing the way the police treat African-Americans.
Tamir Rice's family and civil rights leaders had long suspected the grand jury no-bill of the officers, given that the prosecutor had drawn out the "investigation" for well over a year, combing the nation for the few experts who would eventually agree that the killing was justified. Even before the grand jury decision, he released his exculpatory findings to the public, setting the stage for Monday's announcement. As was the case in the Staten Island, N.Y. panel which "investigated" the police choke-hold death of Eric Garner, the closed grand jury procedure took the place of a public trial. The officers were never subject to cross-examination. No attorneys were allowed to defend Tamir Rice's rights.
Meanwhile, pending results of another internal review, Loehmann and his partner remain employed by the department, albeit on "restricted" duty.
The usual platitudes from the usual subjects have ensued. Ohio Gov. and flailing presidential candidate John Kasich admonished "those people" to "not give in to anger and frustration and let it divide us." He might as well have ordered the denizens of Cleveland to embrace their local police state.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, meanwhile, is nobly cutting short his Cuba vacation by a day or two in order to issue more platitudes regarding his own city's latest police assassinations of two more black people. "He will continue the work of restoring accountability and trust," smirked one of his minions.
While still basking in the Cuba sunshine before nobly cutting his vacation short, Emanuel managed to garble out this clumsy preliminary platitude: "Anytime an officer uses force, the public deserves answers and regardless of the circumstances we all grieve anytime there is a loss of life in our city." (thereby effectively reducing the homicides of a student and grandmother to an everyday natural occurrence.)
The fact that the younger shooting victim, Quintonio Le Grier, had mental health issues should also weigh heavily on Emanuel's alleged conscience. As Kari Lyndersen laid out in her exposé, Mayor One Percent, Emanuel had no qualms about dispatching his police thugs to quash protesters fighting against his closure of six of the city's mental health clinics in 2013. The cops have always had their tacit marching orders from his administration.
And just because Obama's Justice Department has Chicago police tactics on its investigatory agenda is no guarantee of justice. Look at what's been not happening in Cleveland. Only two weeks after the Tamir Rice killing, the DOJ issued a very tepid report on the murderous cop culture in that Ohio city, following yet another tepid report chastising endemic police violence a full ten years prior to that. In both reports, the Justice Department took extra care to put partial blame on the victims of violent cop culture and urged everybody to just try to get along in the future.
"All of the residents of the city of Cleveland should recognize... that many Cleveland officers have pursued their profession in order to effect positive changes within the City and they make great personal sacrifices to do dangerous work.... Respect and trust must go both ways," hectored the DOJ report to "those people."
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Be afraid of Isis over there, and that way you won't have to be afraid of the Police State over here. Go see Star Wars, and may the make-believe Force Be With You as you learn to accept without question the justifiable force of your neighborhood perfect stormtroopers.
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