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The Tamir Rice Tragedy: How Much Has Cleveland Learned As It Braces To Be The Next Ferguson?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rev. Dan Vojir       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   28 comments

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Could It Have Been Prevented?
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Police in Cleveland fatally shot a 12-year-old boy wielding what turned out to be a replica gun. They were responding to a 911 call in which a man said a juvenile was scaring people with a gun that probably was fake.

Is Tamir Rice dead because bb gun vendor Airsplat makes toys too realistic? Is he dead because Cleveland officers weren't trained properly for this kind of situation? Or is he dead because a 911 dispatcher profiled Tamir and failed to give the full report? The answer maybe a combination of all three factors, but Cleveland now has to brace for unrest and outrage in the shadow of the Ferguson grand jury decision.

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When Toys Look Real

Airsoft, the vendor of the alleged pellet gun Tamir Rice had, has had a history of lawsuits over its realistic-looking guns - guns looking very much like the Glock semi-automatic.

Glock has filed a major lawsuit against prominent airsoft vendor AirSplat for selling unlicensed replicas of Glock pistols in airsoft form. They have filed 11 charges against AirSplat that run the gamut from patent infringement to trademark infringement and false advertising.

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As far back as 1988, stories of toy guns being the cause of police shootings have made the news. The results: many realistic toy guns are banned state-wide. Ohio, unfortunately, has no such ban. The mayor of Cleveland, Frank G. Jackson, tried to get an ordinance passed against such toys, but since it was attached to a real gun control law, it didn't pass. It was considered a lame-brained ordinance proposed by lame-brained gun control advocates. It was certainly not supported by the NRA. What IS supported by the NRA:

Administrative Leave - With Pay

The two officers involved in Tamir's death have been place on administrative leave with pay. This may not sit well with some citizens of Cleveland. And while Deputy Chief Ed Tomba gave the report that the police acted in accordance with protocol, Tamir's family is launching its own investigation.

Police approaching a 12-year-old boy in a recreation center who did not point the gun at them have some 'splainin' and training to account for.

When The Dispatchers Profile

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"Is He Black?" is repeated several times to the caller and at times it seems that the race of the boy was more important than his clothing. The caller can be heard to hesitate to answer.

According to early reports the two officers who responded -- the rookie and a veteran -- were not told that the caller had twice said he believed the gun to be a fake.

In other words, the police only reported to a "gun incident" by a black man. The Cleveland police department disavows any aspect of race in the matter.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)

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