By John W. Lillpop
In November, Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy, was shot by a Cleveland police officer who allegedly mistook the child's air gun for a real firearm. Rice’s death has been ruled a homicide, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said Friday.
Before Al Sharpton and Eric Holder take to the streets of Cleveland to protest, it is important to understand that the term homicide does NOT mean that the lad was murdered, or that police acted without justification.
Rather, it simply documents the fact that the death was caused by another human being, and not by suicide, accident, or other causes.
As reported, the death is being investigated:
The death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was shot last month by a Cleveland police officer who authorities say mistook the child's air gun for a real firearm, has been ruled a homicide, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said Friday
The November 22 shooting outside a Cleveland recreation center is under investigation, and Tamir's family has filed a lawsuit against two officers and the city over his death.
The homicide finding indicates that Tamir was killed by the police officer, rather than dying accidentally or by natural causes or by suicide. Medical examiners' homicide findings make no comment on whether the killing constitutes a crime.
The cause of death was a "gunshot wound of the torso with injuries of major vessel, intestines and pelvis," according to paperwork provided by Christopher Harris in the medical examiner's communications office.
Rice was pointing a pellet gun at people outside the recreation center before he was shot, police say. A witness called 911 to say that a black male -- "probably a juvenile" -- was pointing "a pistol" at people, but added twice that the gun was "probably" fake.
A dispatcher asked officers to respond, but it doesn't appear the dispatcher told them of the caller's suspicions that the gun was probably fake or that the person was probably a minor.”
Al Sharpton and Eric Holder will no doubt use the death of Rice to whip up anti-police hysteria in Cleveland and throughout America.
While the death is an awful tragedy, it must not be used to distort the facts, which clearly indicate that the police involved had every right to fear for their own safety.
The fact that the weapon wielded by Rice was “probably fake” does not make it any less threatening to police responding in a life and death situation that could cause death for police.
Responsible members of the black community should resist the temptation to use Tamir Rice as a martyr in the ongoing war with white police.
Rather, those who really care about black lives should advise black youth to avoid dangerous circumstances:
( )Do not engage in violations of law, and then resist law enforcement authorities;
( )Do not wield any object that looks like a weapon and do not point any such object at law officials.
Had those two simple rules been adhered to, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice would be alive today!
Which is important because BLACK LIVES DO MATTER!