It’s Mike Brown all over again.
It doesn’t matter that the officer who shot Tamir, Loehmann, had a “dismal” shooting record at his prior job, and that the Cleveland police department never checked this out before hiring him.
It doesn’t matter that Cleveland had previously paid out $100,000 for an excessive force complaint against Loehmann’s partner on the scene, Frank Garmback.
It doesn’t matter that the dispatcher, Beth Mandl, failed to tell the cops arriving that the person who’d called in Tamir’s toy gun thought it was “probably fake” – nor that she reportedly was “fired from her first police dispatcher job in September 2008, the same month she was arrested and charged with bringing a gun to a bar”.
It doesn’t matter that Tamir was playing with a toy version of a legal object. The prosecutor’s statement says that “Tamir’s replica firearm was functionally identical to a real firearm”, and that “the evidence does not show that his decision to shoot was unreasonable, or that it was feasible to give more commands than he did”. This should matter, because (as the NRA proudly notes) Ohio is an open carry state where guns can be toted around out in the open – so there was no crime in progress to possibly report.
Yet, because of these irrational fears, the prosecutor seems to think the officer was justified because he “was facing a suspect pulling an object from his waist that Loehmann thought was a real gun”, so nothing else matters.
I’d like to repeat: Tamir was twelve years old. Carrying something that looked like a firearm in an open-carry state. And the prosecutors did everything they could to prevent him and others from receiving justice.
It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment. Even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, Prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers and tell the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified. It is unheard of, and highly improper, for a prosecutor to hire “experts” to try to exonerate the targets of a grand jury investigation.
How can a black kid ever get a fair trial, if the entire system is stacked against him? I only wonder what the breaking point will be, and I only hope it’ll be peaceful.