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Call to Justice: Stand with Tamir Rice

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Amid the news of a mistrial in the death of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray, and after the case of Sandra Bland in Texas, another grand jury has refused to bring criminal charges against two more police officers who killed a black American in cold blood. Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old boy. He was shot and killed while playing in a park in Cleveland last year by police officer Timothy Loehmann.

Tamir

This 12-year-old was unarmed.

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He was shot within seconds of the officer’s arrival before the child could even get his hands in the air.

Even though, in June, a Cleveland judge responsible for conducting an independent review found probable cause for bringing charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide or dereliction of duty against Loehmann — the grand jury declined to charge him or his partner, Frank Garmback, for killing Tamir Rice.

This is the family’s statement:

“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. It is unheard of, and highly improper, for a prosecutor to hire ‘experts’ to try to exonerate the targets of a grand jury investigation.”

Several very troubling points in this case.

Namira Islam is an attorney and the Executive Director of Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, she says it best here:

Ohio is an open carry state where you can walk into a public place with a gun. Unless you're John Crawford III or…

Posted by Namira Islam on Monday, December 28, 2015

We have to go beyond talking about these issues at dinner tables and on our Facebook pages. We have to stop worrying about just fighting anti Muslim bigotry and stand for justice for everyone. A just society will be just to its entire people.

O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well- acquainted with all that ye do.

Ohio is an open carry state- which means that gun owners are allowed to carry weapons and they don’t have to be concealed. I just came back from Texas which will become an open carry state starting January 1, 2016. Met many mothers who are concerned about how to explain guns, and changes in the law and actions of law enforcement to their children. Friends, who are Black mothers or mother of children who were black, are navigating the murky waters of parenting in an antagonistic open carry state. Tamir Rice was shot and killed in a park near his house. His sister was held back and not allowed to help him. All Americans should be angry about this case.

We ask our readers to pray for this child and his family. We stand with concerned citizens nation wide who are asking for justice.

This is our Islamic duty to stand with the innocent and the oppressed. Here are some quick action items you can do right now:

Join Democracy for America in calling on the federal government to bring Tamir Rice’s killers to justice. Sign the petition urging the U.S. Department of Justice to file federal civil rights charges against the officers who killed Tamir Rice.

Color of Change is working to unseat bad prosecutors. Donate here: https://secure.actblue.com/…/page/unseatbadprosecutors…

Join Muslimmatters Tariq Toure on social media using ‪#‎NoJusticeNoLebron‬ to urge LeBron James to sit out of future basketball games until those officers are charged. ‪#‎NBA‬ ‪#‎Basketball‬

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Hena Zuberi is the Editor in Chief of Muslimmatters.org. She leads the DC office of the human rights organization, Justice For All, focusing on stopping the genocide of the Rohingya under Burma Task Force, advocacy for the Uighur people with the Save Uighur Campaign and Free Kashmir Action. She was a Staff Reporter at the Muslim Link newspaper which serves the DC Metro. Hena has worked as a television news reporter and producer for CNBC Asia and World Television News. Active in her SoCal community, Hena served as the Youth Director for the Unity Center. Using her experience with Youth, she conducts Growing Up With God workshops. hena.z@muslimmatters.org Follow her on Twitter @henazuberi.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Peter

    December 29, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    Such a tragic yet avoidable death. However, why are you not holding the poor kids parents responsible for allowing him to roam the streets and pointing at people what would looked like a gun?

    It everybody stops having a hissy fit, and think logically, if you were a Policemen, patrolling an area and get a call that a black male is in a park pointing a gun at people, what would you think when you arrive at the park and see a black person who pulls out what looks like a gun from his waistband?

    In a city park, you clearly are not hunting wildlife, you do not walk around with a gun and pointing at people and think it is innocent fun. This kid had removed the bright orange cap from the end of the air pistol, which is there to make it easily identifiable as a air gun. This 12yo modified his airgun to look like a real gun and was pointing at people, That is why someone called the Police as they were alarmed by this person’s actions assuming either the person is mentally ill, or a criminal.

    So before everybody blames the Police, how about blame the American Gun Culture, How about blaming the gutless politicians there that have allows this climate to develop, and finally, how about blaming the parents for letting a 12 yo roam the streets with what looks like a gun! What sort of parents raise a kid to think it is ok to point guns at people?

    Articles like this make me want to vomit at the stupidity of the media, who seem to forget personal responsibilty. 12 yo’s should not be raised to think it is ok to intimidate others, as by taking the orange cap off the airgun,k he clearly wanted to intimidate people, and they should not be carrying weapons, whether guns or airguns. If the parents had been acting like responsible parents this would not have happened. It is not the actions of an innocent to walk about with what looks like a weapon and point it at people. If he didn’t realize that, his parents should have and taught him better.

    When will the media wake up to itself and stop posting such mindless gibberish, crying racism and bigotry when, in this case, is clearly parental neglect and stupidity.

    Yes the Police Officer has some guilt to blame, he should have exercised more caution before drawing his weapon. That is easy for me to say as I was not there. Yet in the USA, the prevalence of guns, and the gun culture, mean that Police cannot act they way they would in Australia or the UK, where the assumption is the average person is unarmed. In the USA the assumption is that the person they are approaching is that they ARE armed. In this case a weapon was clearly visible, and they were responding to a call about a black man pointing at gun at others. A 12yo has no business pointing what looks like a gun at anybody.

    So yes, the Police officers assumptions were wrong. THAT IS EASY TO SAY NOW. He assumed he was facing an adult, armed with a gun, who had been pointing it at others.

    He was facing a 12yo who was large for his age, he could not know that at the time, He was not carrying a gun but an air gun(modified to look more like a real gun), but he could not have known that at the time. The Author of this article is posting gibberish about this kid was shot because he was big for his age, what utter rubbish, shame on you for posting such lies. This child was not shot because he was a big child, but because he was carrying a airgun modified to look like a real gun, and pointed at others in what he thought was fun, and unfortunately he was not the size of an average 12 yo, but was big enough to look like a small adult.

    The Author of this article needs to grow up and get off the innocent victim bandwagon , and stop posting gibberish and lies about the Police Officer being scared due to the child being a big black 12yo, and post the reality that the Police officer was responding to a call about a armed person pointing a gun at people with what appeared to any reasonable, person as a small adult with a weapon.

    In all the hype, created by substandard writers with a leftist agenda, contributes to an even greater tragedy. They muddy the waters, with their biased and discriminatory reporting of an event, instead of reporting the real problem.

    The tragedy here has 3 causes. 1) Parental negligence in the extreme. 2) The gun culture of the USA and lax gun laws. 3) Too many Police Departments which results in lack of standards in training and personnel.

    The USA has some of the best police Forces in the world, and some of the worst. With over 15,000 law enforcement bodies, ranging for The NYC Police, and Los Angeles Police Departments which have high standards, to the local hick town Sheriff who is elected because no one else wants the job. The USA needs much higher standards of training and recruitment, that is uniform. It is not a race problem it is a standards problem.

    Yet the Author of this article ignores parental neglect, the gun laws and lack of standards in Policing, and goes on how this poor stupid kid was big for his age and implies the Officer shot him deliberately because he was a big for his age black child.

    Your article is disgusting, it does nothing to address the issues, and only wants to stir up hate and resentment. Shame on you!

  2. Ran Hansen

    December 30, 2015 at 6:03 AM

    Call to justice? Justice was delivered in the case of Tamir Rice. The grand jury decided the evidence did not support criminal charges against the police officers in this unfortunate incident.
    This story portrays the incident inaccurately. It stated, for instance, Rice was “playing in a park.” The fact is he was brandishing a replica of a gun. People were frightened and called the police. The police thought it was a real gun. It was not a toy gun as some have suggested; it was an Aursoft pellet gun, a weapon that can injure or even kill.
    The article states he was shot before he “could even get his hands in the air.” Video evidence shows he was pulling the gun out of his pants moments before he was shot. The police justifiably thought he was going for a gun.
    Muslim Matters is behaving like a lynch mob, pre-determining that the policemen are guilty in the absence of a trial and ignoring the evidence. If Muslim Matters really believe in justice, you would recognize that justice has been delivered the way it has been designed in America. The grand jury considered all the evidence and applicable law, and determined the policemen were innocent of wrongdoing.

    • Suhail Ahmad

      December 30, 2015 at 7:17 AM

      Ran Hansen. Total rubbish!. There are hundreds if not thousands of cases clearly demonstrating, the violent, trigger happy and racist demeanour of many white-american cops. The fact remains, these two murderers (laughably called police officers) did not follow correct protocol. Instead of investigating the matter by communicating with the kid and defusing any misunderstanding (ie – racist stereotypes), these two blood thirsty criminals instead went on a shooting rampage. Is it any wonder that usa has consistently been voted the most racist country in the world since 2010-2015?.

    • Sibaweh

      December 30, 2015 at 3:09 PM

      Well said, Ran.

    • JRTuttle4

      December 31, 2015 at 12:43 AM

      I am not sure what to think. If the kid was drawing the gun from his waist like the police officers say happened, then of course, they felt their lives were at risk and the shooting is warranted. However, I do not know how anyone can tell that is what happened from the videos that have been released, and it damn sure isn’t “indisputable” lIke Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty claims it was! Did the officers yell for him to stop, put his hands up, and not reach for the gun, but then he did anyways? This is why ALL police officers should be REQUIRED to wear body cameras that record every minute they are on duty, with audio! It is for their protection too, and they should be severely disciplined if they do not comply! There doesn’t have to be a live stream available online from every officer, it only needs to be released when necessary in court, and only when absolutely necessary to the public, in cases lIke this one!!!

  3. Mohamed Warsame

    December 30, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    Bigoted racist like Ray are showing up in here as well. Don’t worry Ray no one expects humanity from the likes of you. Go troll somewhere else.

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