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Tamir Rice’s killing is not a mere abberation, but another example of the dangers of an overgrown and out of control policing system

Dec 02, 2014 Tamir Rice’s killing is not a mere abberation, but another example of the dangers of an overgrown and out of control policing system

Tamir Rice’s killing over a week ago by a rookie police officer — within two seconds  on the scene — is not a mere aberration, but another example of the dangers of an overgrown and out of control policing system. The rookie Cleveland police officer received a 911 communication from a perhaps overworked 911 operator who omitted that it was possibly not a real gun in Rice’s hand. Nationwide and worldwide, this tragic and preventable killing is being dissected, as it should be.

We have an overgrown police state that over-relies on weapons and other methods of force — too often with excessive force and other forms of police misconduct — in too much of an "us-versus-them" mentality and training approach. When we have too many police — which the United States has, for instance for over-policing for so-called quality of life matters (including littering, minor traffic violations, and drinking alcohol on the street or in one’s car) and against crimes that should not be crimes, including marijuana, prostitution, and gambling — we will have a higher percentage of police who do not belong on the police force in the first place, and diminished quality control in selecting, training, monitoring, and promoting police.

It goes without saying that Tamir Rice’s killing is gut-wrenching. I am late in posting about his killing, at first not sure what I could add to the discussion beyond what I have said above, and to send my prayers to him and his family.

This killing was caught on tape, looking surreal, but it is painfully real.

Pouring salt and acid into Tamir Rice’s wounds is that police provided no medical assistance to him for over 3 1/2 minutes.

Here is the full surveillance video of Tamir Rice and the police killing of him. Skip to minute 7 to see the police arrive and immediately shoot him dead (and to second 17 in this abbreviated video).

Getting every police officer and police cruiser outfitted with cameras is essential, so that such police abuse does not slip into the shadows, and so that at least some police will regulate their actions for the better, knowing they are being recorded. Police cameras, of course, are not enough. We have an overgrown and broken police system that will continue to spawn such injustice until it is radically reformed for the better.

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