A grand jury has declined to bring charges against Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot and killed 12-year-old black boy Tamir Rice in Cleveland last year. Rice was playing with a toy gun in a park when police officers pulled up and Loehmann fatally shot him less than two seconds after arriving. Loehmann's partner, Frank Garmback, will also face no charges.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, who has been an unethical nightmare during the year-long investigation, made the announcement at a press conference earlier today. And, in what has been typical and indecent fashion throughout this farce, Tamir Rice's family found out via the media: "Subodh Chandra, an attorney for Tamir's mother Samaria, said they had been given no information about the announcement beforehand and had learned it was taking place through a public statement made by the county prosecutor's office about an hour earlier."
In a statement, Tamir's family said they were "saddened and disappointed" by the outcome, "but not surprised."There is no surprise to be had. Not by anyone who has been paying attention and/or doesn't have the luxury of indifference afforded by privilege. There is only sadness and disappointment and grief and anger.
And the bitter taste left by the reality, deconstructed so powerfully by Prison Culture, that even if charges had been brought, even if these officers had been tried and even if they had been convicted and even if they were sentenced, it would not truly be justice.
Meaningful justice will only be achieved by dismantling the (in)justice system which is catastrophically contaminated by white supremacy.
Which is a daunting task to contemplate, but the enormity of the task before us shouldn't let us treat as justice what will be, at best, limited individual accountability in a comprehensively corrupt system.
Mychal Denzel Smith once wrote: "Justice for Renisha would have looked like Michael Brown being able to attend college. Justice for Trayvon would have looked like Renisha McBride getting the help she needed the night of her accident. Justice for Oscar Grant would have looked like Trayvon Martin making it home to finish watching the NBA All-Star game, Skittles and iced tea in tow. And so on, and so on. Justice should be the affirmation of our existence."
Real justice will be no more death.
People will protest this decision. Maybe some people will riot. And I will say once again: If a vile lack of even the most infinitesimal drip of accountability for the state sanctioned murder of a child isn't worth protesting, then I don't know what the fuck is.