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Shot Dead by Officers, City of Cleveland Lawyers Argue 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice to Blame


#1

Shot Dead by Officers, City of Cleveland Lawyers Argue 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice to Blame

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio last November, was "directly and proximately" responsible for his own shooting death, argue the city's laywers in response to a civil lawsuit filed by the boy's family.

Rice was killed while playing in a park with a toy gun, which Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann claimed he mistook as a real weapon when he shot the boy.


#2

If you have seen the video of the killing of Tamir Rice by Officer Loehmann you will find the reasoning of the city of Cleveland lawyers to be preposterous and obscene. Tamir was waving the toy gun as he moved around the playground. There was no one else around. There was no one who appeared to be under threat. The officers pull up in their squad car, Loehmann jumps out and within seconds he fires in Tamir's direction, bringing him down, fatally, it would turn out. The whole thing makes no sense. If the Officers felt that the boy was dangerously armed then why did they pull up so close to him, as if to guarantee a potentially lethal encounter? Why didn't they apprize him of the danger he was in from a reasonable distance? Why didn't they take steps to find out if the gun was real? It's hard to imagine the Officers behaving in this fashion in the middle class "white" suburbs. It was obvious that racist stereotyping was a key factor in the shooting. Tamir Rice is responsible for his own death only if the Officers had no other options than to act the way they did. But it is evident that they had many options. They acted in a careless and brutal manner precisely because black lives (of any age) do not matter to them. "Protect and serve"? That's a bad joke. For Tamir Rice, it was more like "shoot and kill."

The officers are presumed innocent until proven guilty. They are entitled to the strongest possible defense their attorneys can muster. But blaming a 12 year old child for his own gun death at the hands of two uniformed adults goes to far. Tamir was responsible for his own death in the same way that a suspect's head is responsible for its own bruising when it punched and kicked hard by the arresting officer...

These are evil times. One weeps for the USA....


#3

A monster with a badge is still a monster.

We need to quit putting monsters in uniform and change the institutional ethos that encourages/supports their behavior - the kind of ethos that exonerates monsters and blames kids for being slaughtered by them.


#4

Your error here is thinking that lawyers EVER "reason" in an sense that you or me would recognize it. Their job, as is the job of all lawyers, is to come up with arguments defending the interests of their rich or powerful client or boss. They may be, and usually are, logically and scientifically preposterous, but that is not important - they only need to convince a judge or jury.

If they don't do this, they are fired and kicked out of the "profession".


#5

So if they found otherwise would they be setting themselves up for law suit?


#6

Yunzer: We agree that the "justice" (sic) system generally serves the rich and powerful. It thus follows that most lawyers are also engaged in that deplorable service. And, yes, you are right: the key concern in US criminal law is win or lose. Facts and reason are subordinate to that goal. Justice, as such, hardly matters. It's well known that in the United States you get the lawyering you pay for. What better proof that "justice" (sic) is just another commodity?

My point is, that even though reason is a rare bird in US courtrooms, one hardly expected the Defense Lawyers to put a 12 year old child on trial and accuse HIM of being the cause of his own death when he was shot by a uniformed officer of the law, who never even gave him a chance to surrender, Even if the gun had been real, this still, in my opinion, would not have justified a use of deadly force. One reason we have juvenile measures in the law is that children are children. A child with gun in hand is NOT the same reality as an armed adult. Common sense tells us this. But alas common sense and moral decency seem to be sorely lacking among Cleveland police officers...


#7

These lawyers are defending the City of Cleveland Police, not the kid. And it goes way beyond criminal cases to lawsuits where all sorts of correct technical opinions get gagged.


#8

One more dead in Ohio


#9

Gunning down a child and then blaming him for it.

It's so beyond the pale, I'm speechless.

Shame!

Shame! on the entire militarized police community. The "We are at War" attitude by the Bushmonkey administration trickled down into every sandbox.

Fire all Centralized, Mobilized Law Enforcement and transfer authority to unarmed town Elders who know the difference between 12 year old children playing in a park and criminals with real guns.


#11

Tamir Rice was gunned drown by two violent criminal thugs who were mentally unfit to be allowed to be police officers. Anybody who watches the video would probably come to that conclusion. What kind of pig would say that this child was responsible for his own murder? Did they hire and pay this layer to say that? We all know that there is no justice when it comes to the police killing brown people.They can murder a black man, even a child, and get away with it. They do it all the time. I am old enough to have marched in the cavil rights marches over 50 years ago. It is so sad to see what my country has become. For some privileged black folks things have gotten much better. For every one else things have gotten much worse.