Anyone who follows me knows that I don’t follow the “liberal line” when it comes to these police shootings. And by that I mean, I just don’t shout “Racism!” followed by an endless stream of anti-police rhetoric. When it comes to the Mike Brown shooting I think the grand jury got it right; with Eric Garner I think they got it wrong and the officer should have been indicted, and with John Crawford (the man killed in an Ohio Walmart who was carrying around a military-style looking air rifle, the Crosman MK-177) the officer should probably go to trial, but I don’t see that leading to any sort of conviction based on the information I’ve seen thus far. These are simply my opinions based on looking at all of the evidence available to the public.
But with the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, I don’t see how anyone can defend the way police officers handled that. The video is cut and dry and leaves almost no room for “interpretation of what happened.” Rice was at the park (granted he did have a fairly realistic looking toy gun without the orange tip indicating it wasn’t real), sitting on a bench when a police car comes flying in from the right hand side of the video, pulls up at the sitting area where Rice had been hanging out, and the two officers immediately open the door and shoot this 12-year-old.
From the time the police car comes into frame, to the time Rice hits the ground, is about six seconds. And only took two seconds after the first officer opens his door before he shot this 12-year-old.
But according to Cleveland Police Patrolman Union head Jeffrey Follmer, the officers “absolutely” had the right to shoot this boy.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Follmer pathetically insisted that these officers responded adequately to this situation.
“The video clearly shows, and by the officer’s statement, that they were justified in the deadly force,” Follmer said.
“You’re saying that the video clearly shows that the 12-year-old boy was an imminent lethal threat to the officers?” Melber asked.
“Oh, absolutely. I don’t know if you didn’t see it, but yeah absolutely,” Follmer replied.
Yes, because I’m sure the person interviewing you about the shooting hasn’t seen the video. What an absolute idiot.
First, the reason why this boy was an “imminent threat” is because these officers shouldn’t (if they were responding to a 911 call about someone walking around the park with what might be a real gun, as they were doing) just fly up right on this suspect they think might be armed. That’s just stupid and irresponsible. They could have easily drove 30 or 40 yards away from Rice and instructed him from a distance to drop his “weapon.” And had they done that, this boy would still be alive.
Because while this ridiculous police union head later went on to say “listen to police officers’ commands” (which is something I do agree with), there’s absolutely no way anyone can look at that video and tell me that within the six seconds after the car appears in the video, these officers gave Rice any chance to follow those orders. He was shot two seconds after the first officer opened the door.
And Rice probably had no idea why a police car was flying up on him, or that he was doing anything wrong, so I highly doubt his first instincts were to see a cop car and immediately drop a gun that he knew was a toy – because he was 12-years-old and kids don’t think like that.
And if Follmer thinks that the way these two officers handled this situation was appropriate, he has no business being head of the Cleveland police union.
Watch the interview below via MSNBC: