CLEVELAND, OH–The Cuyahoga County grand jury, on Monday December 28, 2015, declared the police murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice an accident.
The State sanctioned, cold-blooded murder of this African child is one more reason why Africans Charge Genocide and demand Black Community Control of the Police!
Young Tamir had been playing with a toy gun outside the Cudell Commons Recreation Center, on November 23, 2014.
Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, two white Cleveland cops, pulled up as he played. Tamir was sitting at the park shelter.
As Tamir stood up, with the toy gun nowhere in sight, Loehmann jumped out of the police car and immediately began shooting.
Tamir was shot twice in the abdomen. He died that night.
Tamir’s 14-year old sister was also at the park. She ran to help her brother, screaming “my baby brother, they killed my baby brother.”
Surveillance video shows the cops pushed her to the ground, handcuffed her and shoved her into the back of a patrol car, as Tamir lay dying. The police did not administer first aid to stop the Tamir’s bleeding.
Tamir’s mom, Samaria Rice said that she saw her son laying on the ground and ran to help him. She said police wouldn’t let her get to Tamir. She saw her daughter in the back of the police car.
The police gave her an ultimatum: “Either I stay with her daughter, or go with Tamir.” She went with Tamir and they made her sit in the front of the ambulance unable to help or comfort her dying son.
Police say that the cops were dispatched to the park after they got a 911 call about a male pointing a gun at people in a Cleveland park.
The caller said twice that the gun was “probably fake,” and that the person waving it was “probably a juvenile.”
The City of Cleveland, however, filed a document in which they blame Tamir for his own death. They said his death was “directly and proximately caused by the 12-year-old’s own actions.”
The killer cop Loehmann says that he shouted four times for Tamir to show his hands before he opened fire. The entire incident, however, which a city-owned surveillance camera captured, lasted less than two seconds.
As our Chairman Omali Yeshitela said at last year's Black is Back Coalition's Conference on Black Community Control of the Police, "The police are an arm of the State no matter what the circumstances or situation."
“The State is an organization of coercion that includes the police, court system, grand juries, jails and prisons, etc. It came into being as an instrument of ruling classes to protect the system of haves and have-nots and the class in power.
“In the U.S. the capitalist State has its origin in genocide and land theft from this continent’s traditional custodians who are called Indians. It also got its identity from capturing and holding enslaved Africans in domestic colonialism and stealing half of Mexico and repressing the Mexican people on both sides of the illegitimate border.
“The State is the necessary instrument of coercion that protects a society constructed on genocide and slavery. It is an instrument of violence that is absolutely necessary to prevent the oppressed from rising up, slaying the oppressors, winning our liberation and recovering our stolen resources.
“The ubiquitous presence of police in African communities has nothing to do with crime unless it is recognized that anything that challenges the monopoly of power and resources in the hands of the white ruling class is the essential definition of crime.“This is why we must understand that the murders of Africans by the police within our oppressed communities are not really accidents
“Like citizens of the white oppressor nation the police recognize Africans as the ‘Other.’ We are the colonized. It is upon our freedom and resources that the entire social system rests. The oppression of Africans, Mexicans and so-called Indians are what makes up the DNA of the U.S. colonial State.
“This is not a relationship that can be fixed by reform. Civilian police review boards cannot fix it or special government sponsored or endorsed discussions on race relations. It cannot be fixed by sensitivity training and cultural awareness within police departments.
“In the final analysis, we will only be able to fix the relationship existing between Africans and the police and other instruments of U.S. colonial State power through total destruction of the oppressor’s State apparatus that contaminates every aspect of black life from the cradle to the grave. In the final analysis it will take revolution to change the relationship we have to the police.
“However, even while we are building toward revolution there is a correct and incorrect way to fight for reform. This is why the demand for Black Community Control of the Police is so important. Unlike the opportunist demands, which ultimately seek to perfect the U.S. colonial state apparatus and tighten its noose even more around the throats of our oppressed people, the demand for Black Community Control of the Police deconstructs the colonial relationship between our people and the white power colonial State.
“Black Community Control of the Police is a democratic demand that pushes our struggle forward toward self-determination, the highest expression of democracy, which for a colonized people begins with placing limitations on the ability of the colonial State to intervene in the lives of the colonized.
“The revolutionary struggle of African people for self-determination within the U.S. is heating up as never before since the military defeat of the Black Revolution of the Sixties.
“The demand for Black Community Control of the Police is a democratic demand that recognizes the responsibility of African people to build a movement that has the capture of black State power on the agenda.
“The struggle for Black Community Control of the Police assumes the ability of African people ourselves to redefine the role of the police so that it no longer functions as an agency imposed on us from the outside.
“Black Community Control of the Police requires police to become one with the people, to require that its functions include solving the fundamental problems of our colonized community.
“This starts with the poverty, joblessness, poor and non-existent housing, healthcare, etc. It gives the African community the ability to change the look of the police from that of an invading army dressed in ski masks and military gear.
“It is the community that will hire, fire and determine the training of the police. We can develop a transparent and democratic process for the selection and deployment of police. A person would become a police officer because of his/her reputation within the community and whether they are servants of the community.”
Tamir Rice was described by his father, Gregory Henderson, as artistic and smart. The most profound comment Tamir’s father made came when he said “The police know what they’re doing.” He’s right. Like Malcolm X said nearly 50 years ago, “As long as they’ve been doing it, they’re experts at it.”
Justice for Tamir! Freedom for African People!
Come to the Uhuru House on Sunday at 4pm to organize for Black Community Control of Police!
International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705