Rest in Power: Tamir Rice

Once again, the murder of another black person has gone unjustified. They murdered this beautiful little boy within two seconds. And then they lied about the murder. And they lied about him. And then they justified it. And then they walked free. The cycle – over and over again. How many more hashtags?

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No Justice, No Peace.

I have been writing and rewriting this piece because nothing I say is deserving or any different to what hundreds have already said. The fear, the heartbreak, the anger.

If you mention racism you are told that is of the past – we are a post-racial society now. Yet more black people are killed by the police now than there were lynchings at the worst of Jim Crow era! We accept the Jim Crow era was horrendous – so why are we expected to accept the murders now?

And it’s not just the bodies they take.

When the state murders, they kill us twice. They destroy our physical body, they then assassinate our character – Adam Elliot-Cooper

By physical body – of course they take away your life. But they also destroy explanations of how this even occurred, making up impossible back-stories and allowed to collude together. In the case of Tamir Rice, the police say they told Tamir to drop his weapon three times, and gave him a chance to actually respond – all in the space of two seconds. We know it was two seconds because we have video evidence. The United Families and Friends Campaigns always warn families who have had their loved ones murdered in the hands of the state against getting an autopsy by the state. The police are known to tamper with evidence and provide false evidence – proven in so so many of the stories shared by the families. Read about Duggan’s case here.

And then they destroy your character. Dehumanise you. Criminalise you. They will not show the pictures of you being you, and talk about what an innocent child you were, as they did for Dylan Roof. They do not print the pictures of you graduating or smiling. They show the worst picture they can find – making you look like a “thug”. Check out the campaign highlighting this here.

Just a few days ago an article in the paper read “alleged gangster Jermaine Baker” – even after his links to being a gangster have been cleared by the police following complaints by families and friends.

And say it was all true. Say you were a drug dealer – even a murderer – you are still human. Criminals get a trial. They are not executed in the street without the opportunity to speak. Only black people are. Where is the justice in that?

Rest in power Tamir. We will rise up for you.

Without justice, there can be no peace. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetrate it – Martin Luther King Jr.

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