You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: #YearWithoutTamir.
A recent study titled “Black Millennials in America” created by Black Youth Project and reported on at Colorlines found that 54% of young black people say that either they or someone they know have been harassed by police or been the victim of police violence.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the independent investigations into the killing of 12-year-old Cleveland child Tamir Rice found no wrong doing on the part of the officer who pulled the trigger. Retired FBI agent Kimberly Crawford wrote in her report that Officer Lehmann couldn’t have known Tamir’s gun was fake.
As reported in the New York Times, Crawford explained that:
“The question is not whether every officer would have reacted the same way...Rather, the relevant inquiry is whether a reasonable officer, confronting the exact same scenario under identical conditions could have concluded that deadly force was necessary.”
Cleveland.com quotes the Florida law enforcement officer and instructor who also investigated the shooting as saying:
"This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life, but to compound the tragedy by labeling the officers' conduct as anything but objectively reasonable would also be a tragedy.”
On the anniversary of Tamir Rice’s murder, his family has asked for our solidarity and our action. The group Ferguson Action invites people around the country to join the Rice family and the community of Cleveland to join them as they honor his life and continue to fight for justice.
At FergusonAction.com you can pledge to take action by signing on to the statement:
"I PLEDGE TO STAND WITH THE FAMILY OF TAMIR RICE AND THE COMMUNITY OF CLEVELAND. WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR TAMIR RICE AND AN AN END TO THE WAR AGAINST BLACK CHILDREN.”
You can also find an action happening this weekend in your area or create one if there isn’t an action scheduled. The hashtag #YearWithoutTamir is being used to coordinate and amplify actions around the country, so be sure to follow now through Sunday as participants post live updates.
"2 Outside Reviews Say Cleveland Officer Acted Reasonably in Shooting Tamir Rice, 12” at The New York Times
"New report finds Tamir Rice shooting tragic but reasonable” at Cleveland.com
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #970 "The power of solidarity (Racial Justice)"
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich