More than a hundred people rallied outside Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty’s home Jan. 1, asking him to step down, and requesting a federal investigation into the case of Tamir Rice.
The teen was shut down by police in Nov. 2014 after a report that the 12-year-old black boy was pointing a gun at passers-by in a park. The gun, however, was a pellet air gun.
Organizers of the protest asked attendees to refrain from vandalizing the prosecutor’s home and keep the protest peaceful. Police officers watched the march from a distance but had no intervention. They could hear people chant “McGinty has got to go!” over and over again.
The prosecutor declined any request for comment. Protesters are upset that the two officers involved in the shooting will not face any charges. Additionally, McGinty became less and less popular among local community since it took him more than a year to reach a decision in Tamir’s death.
A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office deemed the teen’s death a ‘monumental tragedy’ and tied the incident to several mistakes made by police officers in Cleveland. But the spokesperson went on and criticized protesters for showing disbelief in the grand jury’s decision.
Since grand jury members are regular people that had a direct encounter with witnesses and based their decision on evidence, people who question that decision question their own neighbors, the man added.
But protesters did not resume to chanting alone, they also sat down on the sidewalk for four minutes in remembrance of the time it took emergency medical crews to reach the wounded boy.
McGinty said Dec. 28 that the boy tried to draw his gun from his waistband when he was shot. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the boy was either trying to convince the police officers that the gun was not real or turn it over. Yet, the officers who shot him dead had no idea of his intentions, the prosecutor added.
The prosecutor also noted that the shooting could have been prevented if 911 dispatchers had done their job and provided the officers with additional details, such as the age of the boy and the assumption that the firearm was not real.
On Dec. 31, the mayor pledged to find solutions to ensure public safety without infringing the residents’ First Amendment rights, if protesters plan to continue their actions.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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