Images From Tamir Rice Memorial In The Guardian, Time And MSN

Tamir Rice protest in Cleveland, December 20, 2014

I was very happy to see that a few images I shot during a demonstration in Cleveland to protest the shooting death of Tamir Rice were used last week in The Guardian and MSN.com and last month by Time.com.

The death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot and killed by a police officer at a community park on the city’s west side, was the most tragic story to develop during the handful of months I’ve spent in Cleveland –and the one generating the most outrage.

If you’re not familiar with the case, here’s The Guardian‘s summary:

Rice was shot in the abdomen by Cleveland police in November. Officers were responding to a 911 call where a caller claimed a “guy” with a gun that was “probably fake” was scaring people. It was later revealed that the officer who shot Rice, Timothy Loehmann, was dismissed from another Ohio police department for “dismal” handgun performance.

Surveillance camera footage of the incident shows a patrol vehicle speeding on to the playground, and one officer appears to shoot Rice almost as soon as the car’s door opens, within seconds of arrival. Rice falls to the ground, and the firing officer runs to duck behind the opposite side of the car.

Surveillance footage from the park revealed that police waited more than four minutes before administering any form of first aid to the bleeding child. Video also showed that when Tamir’s 14-year-old sister arrived on the scene, officers tackled and handcuffed her before pushing her into the police cruiser. Their mother arrived next to find one child lying in a pool of blood and another locked in the back of a police car. She too was threatened with arrest if she wouldn’t “calm down”.

Tamir’s death was ruled a homicide in December. A decision on whether to indict Loehmann is expected in March.

More of my images filed for the Corbis and Demotix [1][2] agencies. And below links to a pair of stories on my blog Piran Cafe:

 

Weekend Demonstrations Begin in Cleveland to Protest Fatal Police Shooting of 12-year-old boy

About one hundred people gathered in Cleveland’s Cudell Commons park this morning to kick off a two-day Weekend of Resistance event to protest last month’s fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy killed by a Cleveland police officer at the park on the city’s west side. I just published a 26-photo gallery of the demonstration on my blog here.

I posted previously about the Rice case here and here but to summarize: Rice was holding what turned out to be a toy airsoft gun when he was shot on November 22, 2014; he died early the next day. Video footage of the shooting, showing how the police officer shot the boy within moments of arriving on the scene, has sparked outrage nationwide and attracted attention worldwide.

Local residents were joined this morning by some 40 activists who traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to show their support for Rice and his family, and to join the protest.

As I post this, the protest is ongoing with the demonstrators marching to various parts of the city’s downtown area. You can follow on twitter via the hashtags #Ferguson2Cle and #CleProtests. A pair of actions are also scheduled for Sunday.

All images © Bob Ramsak; for editorial use, please check out the images I filed for Demotix and Corbis.

Memorial for Tamir Rice, 12-year-old slain by police officer in Cleveland

Here are a dozen shots from the growing memorial for Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was holding what turned out to be a toy airsoft gun when he was shot by a Cleveland police officer at a community park on the city’s west side on November 22, 2014. He died early the next day. Video footage of the shooting, showing how the police officer shot the boy within moments of arriving on the scene, has sparked outrage nationwide. (I wrote about the surveillance tape in a previous post on my blog here.)

The memorial, comprised mostly of stuffed animals and other toys left by neighborhood children, sits on a picnic table in a gazebo at the Cudell Recreation center where Rice was fatally shot. The gloomy gray skies and the air’s still chill set a fitting tone at the park late this morning where locals are still coming to pay their respects. Fitting too for the news the city received yesterday.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Cleveland Thursday to deliver a scathing report of two Department of Justice investigations of the Cleveland Police Department’s use of force. From today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer:

The 58-page letter paints a woeful portrait of officers pulling their guns and firing at suspects without justifiable cause, of beating defenseless persons already in handcuffs and of covering their actions by failing to write accurate police reports —if they write any at all. It also enumerates examples of cruel and excessive force being used against the mentally ill.

While welcome, the damning investigation, which calls for immediate sweeping reform, comes too late for Rice, whose shooting was not part of the DOJ investigation, which covered nearly 600 use-of-force incidents from 2010-2013. Surveillance footage of Tamir’s shooting, which shows the boy being shot twice within two seconds of the officers’ arrival on the scene, seems to underscore the report’s assertions that police in Cleveland are quick on the draw.

These are things many residents already had first hand knowledge of. I relocated to Europe from Cleveland more than a decade ago –maybe that’s why I was a little surprised to learn about how abhorrent the situation here actually is. Or maybe I’d just forgotten.

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