Target: Steve Loomis, President of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association
Goal: Issue apology for saying that the settlement money issued to Tamir Rice’s family should be used to educate kids on the dangers of toy guns.
The Cleveland police union has essentially blamed a 12-year-old boy that was killed by a cop for his death through an insulting statement they issued following the $6 million dollar settlement from the city to the child’s family. The statement suggested that the grieving family “use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms.”
Tamir Rice was gunned down in a public playground while sitting on a bench with a toy gun. The boy was given almost no time to react between the moment the police barreled up to the bench in their police car and demanded he drop the gun and the firing of several shots that resulting in the 12-year-old’s death. It’s been widely speculated that the behavior of the officer was motivated by anti-black racism as children and adults wielding real guns are rarely if even gunned down by police in a similar manner.
The death of Tamir Rice was the result of the rash actions of a police officer who had been disciplined and fired in the past for unnecessary brutality. No child should have to fear that playing with a toy that looks like a gun might result in an early death, and the last thing that the Rice family should need to do is pay for instilling that fear. Cleveland needs to pay to train its officers not to automatically assume that a black child is a threat to their safety.
Sign our petition to demand that Steve Loomis, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association, issues an apology for this cruel and thoughtless statement and pledges to focus his efforts on educating his police officers on proper conduct.
Dear Mr. Loomis,
You recently issued a statement saying that you hope the family of Tamir Rice uses the settlement money issued to them by the city of Cleveland to educated children on the dangers of real and replica firearms. This was an utterly heartless thing to say to a family that is enduring a prolonged grieving process due to the lack of justice they’ve received and the lack of compassion from people like you.
Tamir Rice did not die because he was playing with a toy gun. He died because of the ridiculous overreaction of a police officer who was not fit for duty and who the city of Cleveland failed to vet properly. He died because a racist cop saw a 12-year-old and somehow thought he was an adult, then shot him without giving him any time to react.
No children should have to fear being gunned down by police for playing with a toy. The adult police officers need to be educated in the proper way to assess and handle a situation in which there is no threat. We demand that you apologize to the Rice family for this cruel and thoughtless statement and commit to striving for the better training of the officers in your union.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: The All-Nite Images