The Police Murder of Tamir Rice and the Conspiracy to Get the Cops Off

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In his 2002 Revolution talk, Bob Avakian (BA) makes this very sharp point1:

Now prosecutors in Cleveland are not just “forgetting how to prosecute,” but straight up taking the role of defense attorneys for the cops.

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice, playing in a park by himself, was gunned down by Cleveland police on November 22, 2014. The crime was caught on video, and it was plain to see that Tamir was unarmed and no threat. But months went by without an indictment, so private citizens tried to bypass the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Tim McGinty, by filing a motion in Cleveland Municipal Court asking that murder charges be brought.

On June 11, 2015, a Cleveland judge reviewed the video and other evidence and issued a formal ruling that there was “unquestionably ... probable cause” to charge Frank Loehmann (the cop who shot Tamir) with murder. But the judge did not order that he be charged, stating that his role was only “advisory,” it was up to the prosecutor’s office to file charges.

So what happened? Did the prosecutor file charges against the two Cleveland cops involved? Did he arrest them and organize a perp walk in front of the cameras like they do when ordinary people are accused of some crime? Did he call a news conference to denounce the cold-blooded killers, and to build public opinion for their conviction, as prosecutors routinely do when basic people are arrested, often on flimsy evidence, or no evidence at all? Did he go to work gathering evidence and building a case so as to win convictions in court?

No, he did the opposite. He repeatedly warned the public through the media not to draw conclusions just because they had seen a child murdered on video, claiming that things were much more complicated than they appeared. He refused to bring charges, claiming that he needed to “investigate” further. And then he “investigated” how to come up with excuses for the murder of Tamir. He hired several pro-police “experts” to produce reports, released in October, that claimed that killing an unarmed 12-year-old was a “reasonable” thing for police to do because they felt they were in “danger” from this child.

Then on November 28, McGinty unveiled the latest in his defense of the cops—he presented the media with an “enhanced video” produced by a forensics video company in Seattle, of the last few seconds before Tamir was fatally shot by police. And the prosecutor added written text on some frames to “explain” to the public what they were seeing—explanations that contradict what is actually in the video. So for instance, the text says that the video shows Tamir reaching towards his waistband and then raising his arm a split second before being shot, but in reality, as brought out by an expert hired by the family, Tamir had already been shot at that point, and his arm motions were a reaction to being hit by the bullet. (In any case, since Tamir’s hands were empty, since all he had in his waistband was a toy gun, and since the cops couldn’t even see the toy, how does him raising his hand in any way justify murdering him?!?!)

Not only are the prosecutors in this case of police murder forgetting to prosecute, they are acting like defense lawyers for the murdering cop.

BA once again: “Yes there’s a conspiracy! To get the cops off!”

All of this is clearly building towards a decision by the grand jury now in session not to bring indictments... and there needs to be fierce struggle by the people against this going down like that.


1. If you do not have audio or video access, in this talk BA says: "Whenever they are forced to put a cop on trial for brutality or murder, all of a sudden the prosecutors forget how to prosecute. Anybody who has a case, I'm sure they say 'goddamn, gimme that prosecutor when I got my case go up.'" [back]


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism
You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation Its History and Our Future Interview with Raymond Lotta
The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need