Why Is The Police Officer Who Killed Tamir Rice Still On The Force?
I never got over the killing of the twelve-year-old boy, who was innocently playing at a neighborhood park, on a winter day in 2014, when he was gunned down by a Cleveland police officer without warning.
Officer Timothy Loehmann is a White man who thought he saw a large Black man dangerously wielding a gun in his direction, and so out of fear and confusion, he fired the fatal shot that hit the “large Black male” in the stomach.
It turns out the “large Black male” was just a Black boy freely making use of the public space that was created for the activities he was indulging in, and the asshole bystander who called 9–1–1 to report the sighting of a “juvenile pointing a pistol” at random people, tragically sealed the fate of Tamir Rice.
It should be noted that the caller allegedly verified that the gun that Tamir was using to “terrorize” passers by was probably fake, but by that time, the Black boy was already six feet under. There was nothing in the world that could’ve been done or said to rescue him from the systemic violence he was born to claim.
And so Tamir Rice went from the young American boy with his whole life ahead of him to the brutally murdered Black American pre-teen, who would’ve been courteously escorted home by responsibly concerned cops if he had been a rambunctious White boy with a real gun.
His killing was a callous execution that occurred in front of his fourteen-year-old sister, who was understandably horrified, and promptly raced over to her dying brother to help him.
Tamir’s killer, Officer Loehmann, and partner-in-crime, Officer Garmback, physically assaulted the young girl, who was visibly distraught, by tackling her to the ground and forcing her into handcuffs before dragging her away from her brother who was bleeding out with no help in sight.
Both of these White men relied on their privilege as their compass, as they spent time strategizing how they were going to avoid paying the consequences — that arise when you fatally shoot a young boy for reasons that don’t match that level of violence.
They knew they royally fucked up, and that the training they received didn’t save them from making a deadly mistake, and so the hope was that they could rely on the systematic rulebook that demonizes Black males, regardless of age or status.
The whole time the White police officers were trying to agree on the best strategy to save their asses, a Black boy with a bullet lodged in his gut, was losing all his blood as the ground underneath him began to choke from the warm red liquid of societal betrayal.
Emergency services eventually arrived, but by that time it was too late for Tamir Rice. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital, and I’m sure the pain of his wound couldn’t compare to the shock that never left his eyes.
On December 28, 2015, the grand jury granted the wishes of two White adult males, who were remarkably able to justify the cold-blooded murder of a Black child, who committed the sin of blissfully assuming that he had the same rights as his White counterparts.
The reasoning behind the acquittal of officers Loehmann and Garmback was explained as follows:
“Given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes, and communications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police.”
The “perfect storm” gathers the shamelessness of Whiteness and how that currency is valued above all else. White men are allowed to misbehave in ways that result in irrevocable damage, and somehow their wrongdoings are neatly compartmentalized in order to reduce the messiness of their actions.
It’s incredibly offensive to live in a country that endorses the belief of how the lives of Black children are expendable, even when the evidence proves that their deaths could have been avoidable if police brutality wasn’t the preferred method of mandated extinction of Black people in America.
Even Black children aren’t off limits, and of course we’re well aware that Black girls and Black women also suffer the wrath of White cops, who have no issue manhandling us in ways that would never compute with our coddled White counterparts.
Can you imagine being the teenage girl who literally witnessed the shooting death of her kid brother at the hands of two White men, who proceeded to attack her in an effort to shut her up?
The scene plays in my head with torturous intensity, and it’s the single reason why I have zero patience for faux allies in the form of White women like Taylor Swift, who is currently being celebrated for FINALLY stepping into the political arena.
White women have the privilege of being silent until the shit hits too close to home or they suddenly feel the urge to improve their image. And they have no qualms ignoring the atrocities being levied against Black children in the country they call home.
When Tamir Rice was murdered in his hometown, Obama was president, and now that his killer has just been rewarded a new job, we have a White supremacist in The White House.
Why is the police officer who exhibited gross negligence when he killed Tamir Rice, still on the force?
It was just confirmed that Officer Timothy Loehmann has been hired by Bellaire police Chief Richard Flanagan, who is standing by his decision to trust the streets of America with the deadly instincts of a White cop who will most likely kill another Black boy playing in a park without flinching.
“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing.” “He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”
But grieving mother — turned activist — Samaria Rice, isn’t accepting the nonsense of how this activated matter is “over and done with,” and to express just how sickened she is with this latest development, Rice is planning to visit the town of Bellaire. She’s determined to remind officials of how her precious boy died, and why his killer can’t be given another chance to do the exact same thing to another Black family.
While speaking to the publication Mic, via phone Samaria Rice aptly explained her mission:
“I plan to go down to Bellaire to have a conversation with that police department and say, ‘You guys are making a big mistake.’”
A social media campaign has also been launched by supporters who are helping to spread the word to locals in the area, about how Flanagan’s refusal to rescind his job offer to a murderer with a badge could end up costing them more than they’re able to afford.
And as luck would have it, a cousin of Tamir Rice — LaTonya Goldsby also happens to be an active member of Cleveland’s chapter of Black Lives Matter, and she plan on leveraging that power by reaching out to black community leaders in the area near Bellaire — to mobilize enough participants for a planned protest.
Aside from harboring killer instincts when it comes to situations involving people of color, Officer Loehmann has a consistent record of misconduct — that exposes a man who struggles with the ability to prove his mental efficiency.
Back in November 2012, two years before he shot and killed a Black child, an “independent police memo” recorded his “emotional breakdown,” that ironically happened during his firearms qualifications exam. The words used to describe his performance include “dismal,” “distracted,” and “weepy.”
Independence deputy chief police chief provided a less than favorable rating to sum up Loehmann’s efficiency as a police officer:
“I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies.”
And yet, Loehmann was able to avoid being fired from the Independence Police Department in December 2012, by agreeing to resign so that he could seamlessly get hired by the Cleveland police force in 2014, without divulging the damning details of his 2009 written exam. He was later dismissed in 2017, three years after he killed Tamir Rice due to the revelation that he had purposely withheld the real reason why he left his former employer.
And now he has secured a part-time job that will possibly lead to his full-time comeback.
Samaria Rice is understandably upset that the White man who murdered her son, and was congratulated by the judicial system with his freedom — is being given the opportunity to live his life without the burden of guilt.
She admits that she went into “a state of shock and numbness,” when she heard about the good fortune of a corrupt police officer, whose documented incompetence got her son killed and her daughter mercilessly assaulted.
“I fell to my knees.” “I just had to hold myself and call on the Lord. I’m still in shock right now … my youngest daughter fell out. My oldest daughter was crying. I have an angry son who was not happy. I’m very hurt and upset about that situation.”
As Rice continues to fight in the name of the justice that she and her family were systematically denied, we have to consider the reality of how a White cop with a confirmed reckless temperament, was able to dodge the basic requirements of his station — and get assigned to a beat that ultimately allowed the worst case scenario to happen — at the expense of a young Black life.
White privilege has nothing to do with unlimited access to a trust fund. It’s all about unlimited power with zero restrictions, and how the irresponsibility of casually permitting a rogue cop to patrol the streets without supervision, can produce life-altering consequences that inspire kneeling during the national anthem — and the protests that don’t feature braless White supermodels and generic White female comedians.
The pain that drives Samaria Rice is inhumanely exacted by the validation of White supremacy, and how this religion continues to prosper with the blood of Black children, who are devalued beyond comprehension in full view of those who claim to be “woke”allies.
As long as White males with criminal tendencies are worshipped and adored by White women who mostly voted for Trump, we will continue to bury Black children — and their White male killers will continue to thrive without the haunting of their crimes.
Trump’s America needs to be conquered, but how?