This was taken early last December at a small memorial marking the spot where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland, Ohio police officer on 22 November 2014 when the youngster was playing with a plastic air gun at a park on the city’s west side. One year later, the case has yet to be resolved.
The latest: last month prosecutors overseeing the grand jury investigation released two reports produced by independent experts which concluded that the officer, Timothy Loehmann, acted reasonably and within the law. A grand jury began hearing the case last month but it remains unknown when they’ll decide if charges should be filed against Loehmann.
It was a tragic case, and high profile as well. Coming soon after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, Rice’s death was one of several police killings that ignited the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement and attracted international attention.
What I found most profoundly saddening was to learn that more than four minutes had passed before someone delivered first aid to Rice who lay bleeding on the snow-covered grass. Rice was shot in the abdomen at close range, fell to the ground immediately, but received no attention until a passer-by, a medically trained FBI agent on this way to work, assisted. Is is standard practice for police officers to watch a 12-year-old lying still and bleeding for more than four minutes without raising a hand to help?