Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another Whitewashed US Cop Killing

Another Whitewashed US Cop Killing

by Stephen Lendman

US Black communities are virtual war zones - similar to daily Israeli-inflicted horrors on Palestinians.

Cops are licensed to kill with impunity. Accountability for cold-blooded murder is almost entirely absent.

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice threatened no one. In November 2014, he was innocently playing with a toy gun - reminiscent of a harmless cap pistol I and my friends had as young boys, never fearful of hurting anyone or being hurt. Simply the innocent play of young boys with their friends.

Rice was in a Cleveland playground when lethally shot by officer Timothy Loehmann - a clear case of cold-blooded murder, another Black life lost, another grieving family denied justice.

White-dominated communities, all 50 states and federal authorities nationwide permit these horrors on a regular basis - letting their citizens and residents by murdered by killer cops with virtual impunity multiple times daily, justice systematically denied, nothing done to protect the lives and welfare of millions of vulnerable Blacks, fair game for police violence.

Tamir was in a Cleveland park with his sister and a friend. Spotted harmlessly playing with a toy pistol, a 911 caller explained it was “probably fake.” It didn’t look real. The young boy was at play, threatening no one.

Police arrived on the scene, officers Loehmann and Frank Garmback saying they ordered Tamir to raise his hands. Instead, he reached into his waistband to hand officers the toy gun, never pointing it in a threatening way.

Loehmann opened fire instantly, severely wounding Tamir. Hospitalized treatment overnight couldn’t save him. At the time, both officers were placed on administrative leave with full pay.

The incident was recorded on surveillance footage, still available on YouTube - nothing suggesting the lives of officers involved were endangered, clear evidence of cold-blooded murder.

Not good enough for Cleveland grand jurors. They declined to charge officer Loehmann with a crime. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty recommended exoneration. 

He lied, calling the incident a tragedy, a “perfect storm of human error and mistakes and miscommunications,” claiming officers had just cause to fear for their lives, despite no evidence suggesting it.

Loehmann fatally shot Tamir within seconds of arriving on the scene, a clear case of murder without justification. 

The system is rigged, giving cops license to kill with impunity, their word accepted even when clear evidence refutes them - along with a blue wall of silence, an unwritten rule among officers not to report crimes or other forms of misconduct committed by their colleagues, the public systematically betrayed.  

Lawyers for Tamir’s family were outraged by the grand jury process and ruling, issuing a statement, saying:

“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” when clear evidence proved otherwise.

Following the prosecutor’s announcement, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson lied, claiming Tamir’s death led city officials “to do a lot of soul searching…(W)e have made some changes.”

How many previous times have we heard similar comments? US cop killings total nearly 1,200 this year, over three daily nationwide - Blacks the vast majority of victims, prime targets to be lethally shot at the whim of rogue officers, protected by superiors and systemic injustice at all levels of government.

Nothing in prospect suggests change, no relief for African Americans, grievously abused throughout the nation’s history - from chattel slavery to Jim Crow to wage slavery and vulnerability to instant death at the hands of killer cops. 

A Final Comment

On Monday, Justice Department officials said they’d “continue our independent review of this matter, assess all available materials and determine what actions are appropriate, given the strict burdens and requirements imposed by applicable federal civil rights laws” - code language for virtual automatic whitewash.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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