Timothy J. McGinty, whose behavior is in question after a Grand Jury decided not to indict Tamir Rice’s killer, acknowledged he doesn’t second guess cops.
Plenty was said by Mr. Timothy J. McGinty today after announcing a Grand Jury, upon his recommendation, would not indict Mr. Timothy Loehmann for the 2014 killing of 12 year-old Mr. Tamir Rice, who, when killed within seconds of police’s arrival, was playing with a toy gun that wasn’t distinguishable from a real firearm.
But the most unsettling statement by far was Mr. McGinty’s not-so-subtle acknowledgement that police are, indeed, beyond reproach.
“We don’t second guess police officers,” Mr. McGinty, who was accused of abusing and manipulating the Grand Jury process by Mr. Rice’s family attorney, said before stating the officers involved in the less than five second fatal encounter did nothing criminal.
One of the biggest problems with American policing, a problem Mr. McGinty proved authentic with his words, is that police officers are perpetually given the benefit of the doubt; their work, due to the danger and risk attached to it, is revered by bureaucrats to a point where laymen who question it, or who are critical of certain tactics, are often portrayed as unpatriotic agitators and, even, anti-police.
Mr. McGinty’s irresponsible utterance not only validated an unnerving feeling that is familiar to many people in the struggle for justice, it impedes any real national effort of mending tensions between police and the communities they serve.
As long as police are seen as an occupying and volatile force, free from scrutiny, and who can act with impunity, there will be no collective step up the, as Ohio Governor John Kasich puts it, “higher path.”
Police are people, too, and if the Tamir Rice killing was, as Mr. McGinty describes it, a “perfect storm of human error,” than the deceased 12-year-old boy shouldn’t be the only human punished. Maybe criminal intent was impossible to prove, but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Loehmann, who had already been deemed unfit to serve as a cop, and his partner, who acted recklessly by driving up to the armed boy, should not be held responsible for their actions that resulted in a loss of life.
Peace and harmony will make its way to this country when there’s truly justice for all. And though in this matter justice, for some, is defined as an indictment and jail time for Mr. Loehmann, real justice, in the broader sense, is Americans no matter their occupation living under the same letter of law and, when acting out of it, being held accountable.
Keep a look out in January 2016 for a NPR Music documentary starring Grammy Award-Winner Mr. Christian McBride and co-starring Mr. Christopher “Flood the Drummer” Norris.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™