OUTRAGE: Arrest For Demanding Justice for Tamir Rice at Cleveland City Council!

October 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us



Update- Nico was released this evening -- press conference scheduled for 3 PM Wednesday at the "Justice" Center on W. Lakeside. 

From a reader

Last night, 30 activists marched into Cleveland City Council meeting demanding the city council members call for indictments against the cops who murdered Tamir Rice.  Activists and Tamir Rice’s family have been outraged when on October 10th, prosecutor,  Timothy McGinty released “Expert Reports”  that claim the cops who killed Tamir acted  in a “reasonable” way and were therefore justified in murdering this Black child.  

Protest at Cleveland City Council
Protesters at the Cleveland City Council confront police after a member of the Revolution Club was arrested for demanding justice for Tamir Rice. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Rise up October in Cleveland called for this action and people from other groups came out, such as, Cleveland Revolution Club, Carl Stokes Brigade, New Abolitionist Association, supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, family members of people killed by the police and lots of activists in the fight against police murder of Black and Brown people.  As we walked into the council chambers, we held signs of Tamir Rice and chanted “Justice for Tamir, Indict the cops!”  As city council members were saluting the flag, we stood up demanding justice. Brenda Bickerstaff, whose brother was killed by the police, began to speak saying, “We want this whitewash to stop, it has gone on too long.” The police surrounded her and claimed she would be given a chance to speak, but that never came.  

As the council went on with their business, we held up Tamir’s picture and demanded, “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail.”  At one point as everyone was chanting, holding up signs, the police grabbed a Cleveland Revolution Club member, Nico,  threw him against the wall, tore his shirt off him and dragged him. People shouted, “Let him go!” and demanded police free him. There were at least 12 cops surrounding him, and took him through a door and locked it. 

Then the meeting was adjourned.  Knowing they adjourned because of our message and our action, people yelled “Shame, shame!” and “Cowards, cowards!”

As the council people were leaving,  Genevieve Mitchell, a Black activist, spoke: “It is unacceptable that these homicides [by police] which are structurally, historically rooted, race and class based continue to increase with greater propensity as the days go by.”  Another family member spoke to the media as well as a member of Rise Up October, calling for people to be in NYC on October 24.  TV coverage quoted Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson saying the protest was "legitimate advocacy" and "It is time to stop telling us to be patient, but to challenge the system that allows for an innocent child to be treated that way and to be killed." 

It was clear the police targeted Nico. He was standing with others chanting and shouting and holding picture of Tamir.  They picked  him out and viciously attacked him, like slave catchers. Nico was one of the 71 arrested for protesting the no conviction on pig Michael Brelo for being part of shooting unarmed Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams, with 137 bullets.

For hours Nico couldn’t be found and is now being held until Wednesday.  Outraged at the attack and arrest of Nico, people from all over the country are calling the Cleveland Police Department to free Nico now.  There is a news conference called for when Nico gets out of jail.



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