12 year old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann back in 2014. Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback arrived on scene, when they received word there was a young man playing with a gun in front of a rec center. People were worried, but the officers were never informed that the gun was probably fake, and did not look to be a real firearm. When Rice pulled the gun out of his waistband, Loehmann shot him, leaving the boy dead. After awaiting trial, both officers were not indicted by the grand jury, causing an even bigger outrage among the community of Cleveland. Protests have been going on for awhile, but on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., several took to the streets to continue the protest.
Original protest canceled
A rally was planned for the beginning of January, to take place at the location where Loehmann shot Rice. Local group, Black Lives Matter Cleveland scheduled a rally to take place at the Cudell Rec Center, located on the West Side of Cleveland. The group made the decision to cancel the event. Although bitter cold temperatures were expected for the original rally, this was not the main reason the group had for canceling the event. Instead, the group believed the rally wasn’t planned properly, and they would rather focus their time and energy on other upcoming events.
Other march helps register voters
Activists in the Black Lives Matter movement have been working to get people in the community registered to vote. The goal is to get Timothy McGinty out of office. McGinty was said to play somewhat of a sneaky role in swaying the grand jury’s decision in the Tamir Rice case. Protesters were told that they must register to vote to stand with the family. Michael O’Malley, a former assistant county prosecutor will be running against McGinty in the next election, but activists plan to stand behind a possible write-in candidate. Activists believe O’Malley might be a part of the same corrupt system as McGinty.
Honoring Tamir Rice on MLK day
January 18th marked the remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., and so it was only fitting that activists in Cleveland took to the streets to also honor Tamir Rice. There were over 30 people in attendance in the afternoon. Everyone met at the Justice Center and marched throughout downtown. Stops were made at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Tower City. At one point, security had to direct visitors of the museum because the protestors were chanting outside. The group chanted, “No justice, no peace!” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!” The weather was not favorable, but the cold air and snowy streets didn’t stop the protesters. Police had to warn activists at one point not block oncoming traffic, but no arrests were made.
Although the march only lasted one hour, the reasoning behind it was even greater. Activists will not give up fighting until they see some kind of justice for Tamir Rice. However, the type of justice they hope to seek might not be something they will ever get.