by William N. Grigg, The Free Thought Project:
Matt Cicero, a “mobile patrol officer” employed in the Cleveland school district where the late Tamir Rice was a student has been placed on paid vacation (officially called “administrative leave”) after publishing a Facebook post in which he denigrated the victim of a police killing, insulted his grieving mother, imputed pecuniary motives to the family’s decision to pursue a lawsuit — and, most seriously, expressed a clear intent to kill other children should he find himself in similar circumstances.
Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice, who was playing in a park with a plastic pellet gun resembling an authentic handgun, was killed by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann within two seconds of the officer’s arrival on the scene.
Loehmann and his partner responded to a 911 report of what appeared to be a gun-toting male of indeterminate age, although the caller specified that the apparent weapon was “probably” a toy. Loehmann, whose personnel record unambiguously described someone unqualified to be a police officer, was clearly primed to kill Rice — and the victim never had time to comply with an order to drop his toy. Nor did the shooter or his partner render medical aid to their victim.
Following the template used in the investigation of Darren Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Cuyahoga County District Attorney Timothy McGinty referred the Tamir Rice shooting to a grand jury, but rather than seeking an indictment he conducted a mini-trial in which he acted as both prosecutor and defense attorney for Officer Loehmann. Thisrais yielded the entirely predictable — and, most likely, intended — result when the grand jury declined to indict Rice’s killer.
In the December 29 press conference announcing the grand jury decision, McGinty insisted that “the plus side of this tragic event” is that “there have been lessons learned already in this case…. And it should never happen again.”
According to Officer Cicero — whose views are most likely representative of at least a significant portion of his peers — the only relevant “lesson” in the Tamir Rice killing is that police officers have an unqualified right to kill anybody, of any age, they perceive as a threat, and when this happens to a child only the victim and his parents are responsible.
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