By Jordan "The Slavic Libertarian" Marinovich, The Tony Stiles Show
"Less than a second and my son is gone, and I want to know: How long I got to wait for justice?" - Samaria Rice
It took it less than a month for officers involved with Freddie Gray and Walter Scott's deaths to be charged. However, 12 year old Cleveland boy Tamir Rice still lays unburied, investigation incomplete and no charges filed against officers.
For over five months, the investigation has dragged on; adding increasing agony to the family's loss as they still have not laid him to rest. Tamir's mother has called on the F.B.I. to take over the investigation.
In late November of last year, Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police as he played in the park. Officers' accounts stated that they ordered Tamir Rice to lower his weapon, later discovered to be a pellet gun. Video evidence would later disprove the officers testimony, as Rice was shot within seconds of officers' arrival. Tamir Rice did not receive any first aid for nearly four minutes.
UPDATE: 3 March 2015
In a response to a lawsuit filed by Tamir Rice's family, the Cleveland city attorneys coldly claimed that 12 year old Tamir Rice was "directly and proximately" responsible for his own death.
Late last year (read more below), Rice was shot to death by police in a highly controversial set of circumstances. "Injuries, losses, and damages complained of," the statement reads, "were directly and proximately caused by the failure of [Tamir Rice] to exercise due care to avoid injury."
Mayor Frank Jackson later apologized for the "insensitive" statement. "We are sincerely apologetic for our misuse and mischaracterization of our answer to that complaint." As for the police officer that shot and killed Rice, the grand jury is anticipated to hear the case soon.
UPDATE: 8:00pm EST: 8 January. 2015
On November 29th of last year, TonyStiles.com reported on a press conference conducted by Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba on the shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice. He revealed that Rice lay dying for nearly 4 minutes, while the two officers stood by. An FBI agent in the area arrived and finally started to administer aid to Rice.
It seems they conveniently left out a piece of information. After city officials' initial refusal, the entire video was finally released and it shows the whole story. Left out of Tomba's press conference was the fact that Tamir's 14 year old sister, as she ran to her mortally wounded brother, was brought to the ground, handcuffed and placed into the back of a police car.
Walter Madison, attorney representing the Rice Family, said, "This has to be the cruelest thing I've ever seen. No one thinks that it's appropriate to try to save him. The first person who does is not affiliated with the Cleveland police department. This is the level of service that makes people very upset and distrustful of law enforcement."
Also reported earlier by TonyStiles.com (scroll down) was the fact that Officer Loehmann was fired from a previous police department for "dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage this personal stress, I do not believe Ptl Loehmann shows the maturity needed to work in our employment," This would explain his complete indifference for not only a dying child, but for detaining his completely distraught sister. However, this does not explain his partner's actions and complicit behavior.
UPDATE: 8:00am EST, 4 December, 2014
Yesterday, Cleveland.com reported that Officer Timothy Loehmann, the police officer who shot and killed 12 year old Tamir Rice, was ruled unfit for duty by the Independence Police Department, a suburb of Cleveland.
Deputy Chief Jim Polak of the Independence PD wrote a letter back in 2012 which found its way into Loehmann's Cleveland PD personnel file, however was never reviewed prior to Loehmann's hiring. In it Polak described his handgun skills as "dismal" and stated that he did "not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies."
Polak's assessment, which included a detailed account of a bizarre episode Loehmann caused during a state gun qualification session, called for his immediate termination from the police force. "Due to this dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage this personal stress, I do not believe Ptl Loehmann shows the maturity needed to work in our employment," he wrote.
The fate of Loehmann, who is under investigation by the Cleveland PD's "use of deadly force investigation team", will now be left up to the Cuyahoga County District Attorney and a grand jury. Following two successive victories for police under investigation, one more egregious than the other, the likelihood for justice for Rice's family does not look good.
UPDATE: 4:00pm EST, 29 November, 2014
During a press conference held by Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba on the shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice, it was revealed that the two officers involved in Rice's death did not perform CPR or first aid care. Approximately four minutes passed before Rice received any medical attention, when an FBI agent and detective arrived on scene.
Cleveland Mayoral Spokesman Dan Williams said the actions are under investigation and was unsure of the police department's policy on medical assistance. According to research of reporter Sarah Buduson of Cleveland 5 News, all officers receive basic medical training, such as CPR and first aid.
It is unclear whether Rice would have survived if given first aid immediately, but consistent with the training I received from the military and working in hazardous industrial areas, seconds matter. The longer a patient goes without care, the less likely the chance of survival.
According to Dr. Angela Gardner of the American College of Emergency Physicians "People witnessing a medical emergency should be prepared to take action, which can mean anything from calling 911 to performing CPR. Everyone is only one step away from a medical emergency, and in an emergency, seconds can save lives. Action can mean applying direct pressure on a wound, performing CPR, or splinting an injury."
ORIGINAL POST: 8:00pm EST 26 November, 2014
Overshadowed by the events in Ferguson was the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice on Saturday by Cleveland police officers. A 911 call placed to the Cleveland Police Department reported a boy walking around a park waiving what the caller told the operator was probably a fake gun. Moments later two officers from the department, Timothy Loehman and Frank Garmback, responded and within seconds the young man was put down.
Responding to pleas from the family, the Cleveland PD released the entire park surveillance video earlier today. In the video you can clearly see Rice walking around, pretending to shoot his gun, and throwing snow; essentially being a 12 year old boy. For seven minutes he is on camera, with scattered moments off camera, not doing anything that I don't remember doing at his age. At shortly after seven minutes on camera the patrol car can be seen pulling onto the grass, after which Rice is shot almost immediately.
According to Deputy Police Chief, Ed Tomba, Officer Loehman, sitting in the passenger seat, ordered the boy to show his hands three times before the boy appears to reach for his waist band. Loehman, on the force for only 8 months at the time, jumped out of the car and instantly fired at Rice before ducking for cover at back of the vehicle.
Tomba told the media that the release of the video was not an effort to sway public opinion one way or the other to favor either the official police story or the family. I can hardly see how that could be in any way possible.
Warning: the below clip is extremely graphic and may be very upsetting to some views. Watch with caution.
In this condensed video it is hard to buy Loehman's story. According to the rookie officer he demanded that Rice show his hands three times prior to exiting the vehicle and shooting him. The problem with that account is that the video shows Rice walking under the gazebo with his hands in front of his upper stomach as the police cruiser illegally drove up onto the lawn. The boy continued to casually walk toward the officers and then appears to reach down where the pellet gun was in his pants. Not behaving erratically, could it have been possible that the boy was reaching to show the gun was a toy? If you were going to commit an act of aggression against an armed police officer, would you be casually walking toward the car? Loehman's itchy trigger finger neutralized the boy before he even had his hand on the toy.
There is entirely too much wrong with this picture. Unlike the Michael Brown incident, Tamir Rice wasn't accused of doing anything wrong. Tamir Rice didn't allegedly attack Timothy Loehman. Tamir Rice was being a 12 year old boy for at least seven whole minutes until he was aggressed against by Cleveland police.
Justice will now be left in the hands of a grand jury which will inevitably be subjected to a vigorously pro-State prosecution. Let's not hold our breath.
To see the full video of a boy just being a boy, click here