On New Year’s Eve, an Annapolis, Maryland police officer encountered a child who appeared to be carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, along with a holster that appeared to house a small handgun.
Police received reports of a man with a rifle and handgun roaming the neighborhood. The individual was garbed in camouflage, and was wearing a ski mask. “Drop the gun and get on the ground,” shouted Officer Jason Shreves. The suspect was not only given a chance to comply, but did so, and was handcuffed peacefully.
He didn’t turn toward me. He didn’t come toward me. He didn’t raise the gun or point it at me. When I told him to drop the gun and get on the ground, he complied immediately,” said Officer Shreves. “I didn’t feel like he was a threat to me or others.
Obviously, in this scenario, both individuals were white.
Unfortunately, justice is not colorblind. Recently, in Cleveland, Ohio, 12-year-old African-American boy Tamir Rice also prompted a report to police about a small handgun-like toy he was carrying. The caller specifically noted that the “weapon” was likely fake, and that the person holding it was likely a juvenile.
While officers claim that they yelled multiple commands that Rice drop his toy gun, video evidence reveals that not only did officers gun down the child almost on sight, but that they waited several minutes before even considering administering medical care to the victim.
After killing the child, police forcibly detained his sister, who was with Rice at the park. She was thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and left in the police cruiser to gaze upon her dead brother, who was less than ten feet away.
Some may argue that the child in Maryland is alive because he complied with police orders, but that’s the thing: at least he was given a chance to do so.
As for Rice…[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z8qNUWekWE?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=640&h=360]