Target: Timothy J. McGinty, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor
Goal: Charge police officer with the killing of 12-year-old boy
Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African American boy, was shot and killed by a police officer on November 22, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. Tamir was playing with a toy gun and was shot by a police officer only moments after he arrived at the scene, as captured on a security camera in the area. If you think that the unjustified murders of African Americans at the hands of the police should not be allowed to become a daily matter in this country, please demand that the police officer who killed Rice be charged and face trial.
Much like with the case of black teenager Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last August, a grand jury will decide whether to indict the officer who killed Rice. This is not to deliver a ‘guilty’ verdict, but to decide whether to hold a trial at all. It is unacceptable for young kids and teenagers to be killed by police while no one is held accountable. There is no death penalty for handling a toy gun and every possible step should have been taken to avoid the death of this child. Rice was only a boy, and someone has to be held accountable for this tragic loss of life.
Following the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown’s killer, people have been protesting all across the country. Both of these cases represent a much wider issue of police violence mainly against people of color, for which there are usually no consequences. The grand jury decision in Michael Brown’s case sends the message that the lives of young black men are expendable and can be taken away for no real reason and with no implications. Please don’t let this message be repeated in Rice’s case as well. If you believe that all people deserve to be safe in their communities and that the killing of a child cannot simply be ignored, please let the Cuyahoga County prosecutor know, so that justice can be served.
Dear Mr. McGinty,
I am writing to urge you to press charges against the police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy in your county. Rice was killed on Saturday, November 22, 2014 while holding a toy gun in a park in Cleveland. There is no death penalty for holding a toy gun, and shooting a 12-year-old boy to death simply cannot be overlooked. Every measure possible should have be taken to avoid this loss of life, and someone has to be held accountable.
I ask that you pursue justice for Rice. I am not asking that the officer be declared guilty right now, but that he at least face a trial. The killing of a child cannot become a daily matter in this country, and we cannot continue to tell young black men and boys that their lives are expendable. If killing a 12-year-old boy isn’t enough to even hold a trial, we are essentially telling all other black boys that this system is not there to protect them.
If killing young boys is not what the Cuyahoga County criminal justice system stands for, make it clear by charging this officer with the death of Tamir Rice and declaring his acts unacceptable. If you do not consider this business as usual, I urge you to press charges and pursue justice for Rice, his family, and all the people in this country who are currently looking for hope and justice from their country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jamelle Bouie via Wikimedia Commons