Cleveland Police Union Head Tries Desperately to Defend Tamir Rice Shooting (Video)

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:

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Alec Welsh

    I am not sure but don’t police cars have protection from gun fire, and the ability to talk through a speaker on their car? Couldn’t they have drove up and command the kid to drop the weapon from their car, a safer pace than outside it?

    • Anna Turner

      Last month my paycheck was $11000… All I was doing was some simple online jobs from comfort of my home for 3-4 h/daily that I found online and they paid me for it 95 bucks/h…
      And if i can do it so can you

  • Cemetery Girl

    I have been hearing about this story since it happened, and I have been disgusted that a child was killed. Despite Cleveland’s insistance that they wanted the truth, it isn’t surprising that there was going to be claims that the shooting was justified. As horrible as this story is, the comments on the news stories have been worse. They display the divide of the country. When you have a mix of some comments expressing outrage and concern over how this could happen with other comments expressing “thank goodness there is one less thug in the world” (and in hours of the child dying), we have a problem. It is a shame that a child had to die. A child, just playing around, died and it’s justified.

  • Sumer54

    Stupid, asinine, foolish, laughable, senseless, brainless, shortsighted, idiotic, pointless, thick-headed, inane, futile, ill-advise and every other comparative term that goes with it. Oh, I forgot one. Indefensible.

  • Stephen McDonald

    No defense of this ill-trained officer.

  • Cameron Chandler

    How do you see the officer who murdered John Crawford not getting convicted? The dude was walking around a walmart with a toy gun he found in the store and he was shot on sight. Factor in that under Ohio’s open-carry laws he could have legally walked around with an actual gun, I don’t see why that cop hasn’t gone to jail yet.

  • Kojo

    The fact that this Jeffrey Follmer associates a player’s right to free speech as “disrespecting the entire force” because they are PAID to serve as security at the stadium shows how police members think they have autonomy over citizens and that they should have no rights when it comes to dealing with them in any way. This union leader jackass should step down immediately.

  • Kojo

    Oh, and the police were justified in their action to shoot a child with a toy because they THOUGHT he was 20 and THOUGHT it was a real gun? Well they were WRONG on all counts which means they were NOT justified by definition as well as fact. This is where today’s cops have lost the thread of what it means to serve. They could have stopped at a good distance away and called the kid with the car p.a. to disarm while being protected in their car. They did not have to pull right up to him and shoot him. Full of shit these guys.