Back in November 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy in Clevland, was shot to death by Officer Timothy Loehmann because he mistook a toy pistol for a gun. The excessive force used against an innocent child accentuates the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement. The US Justice Department announced that there was not enough evidence to press federal charges on Tuesday, December 29 2020.
“In order to establish a federal civil rights violation, the government would have to prove that Officer Loehmann’s actions were unreasonable under the circumstances, and that his actions were willful,” federal attorneys said. ” … an officer is permitted to use deadly force where he reasonably believes that the suspect posed an imminent threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others.”From the CNN Article, “Justice Department won’t pursue charges against officers in Tamir Rice shooting”
According to the CNN article, “Justice Department won’t pursue charges against officers in Tamir Rice shooting,” prosecutors state that Loehmann thought that Rice was reaching for the assumed gun and he was using self defense. In order for Loehmann to be federally charged, the US Justice Department would have to prove that Rice was not reaching for the “gun” and that Loehmann did not think that Rice was reaching for it, which there is not enough evidence to back it up. Loehmann was fired in 2017, not for the shooting, but for false information about his employment history when he applied.
Loehmann shot Tamir Rice after a witness called 911, reporting someone with a suspicious firearm. However, when the witness made it clear that it the person is “probably a juvenile” and the gun was “probably fake,” the dispatcher did not mention it to Officer Loehmann and Garmback so the officers set off, thinking there was an armed threat in the area.
“This officer shot this 12-year-old boy within, within less than two seconds, within one second of arriving on the scene,” Abady said. “There’s no justification for it whatsoever. This was a child playing in a park.”From the CNN Article, “Justice Department won’t pursue charges against officers in Tamir Rice shooting”
Despite the case being closed, it remains unjust. This case proves the excessive and unnecessary force police officers use on people of color.