Cleveland People Protest Over Boy Shot By Police, Protests In 12 US Cities
26 November, 2014
Tamir Rice, 12-year-old shot while holding a BB gun by a police officer in Cleveland, Ohio. (Family photo)
Several hundred people marched down an exit ramp and temporarily blocked rush-hour traffic on a busy freeway on Tuesday in Cleveland while protesting a police officer's fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy who had brandished a realistic-looking novelty gun. Demonstrators blocked the Memorial Shoreway in Cleveland , on November 25, 2014, during the protest.
A Cleveland officer was less than 10 feet away when he fatally shot the boy near a playground, and video of the shooting is clear about what happened, police said.
Some demonstrators carried signs that read "Danger Police in Area" and "Police Terror: This Stops Today." They chanted, "Justice for Tamir!"
"We will not accept any excuse why this young man was shot down unjustly," said Art McKoy, a Cleveland community activist at the demonstration.
Candles and teddy bears were left Monday at a gazebo near the playground. At a home less than a block away, a man identifying himself as Tamir's uncle said the boy's family wasn't commenting and referred reporters to an attorney.
A Cleveland datelined AP report said:
“Police diverted traffic but didn't take action against the protesters, who chanted phrases such as ‘Hands up, don't shoot' and ‘No justice, no peace' as they sat in a major intersection before marching past City Hall and onto state Route 2.”
The report said:
“The demonstration came as protesters across the country blasted a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson , Missouri .
“The crowd blocked the freeway for about an hour before returning to a downtown square, where it dispersed. The demonstrators passed by the Cuyahoga County jail, causing inmates to bang on their windows.”
The report quoted 17-year-old Naesha Pierce, who said she had stayed up until 3 a.m. watching television news coverage from Ferguson , where people marched in streets, destroyed police cars and set businesses on fire. Naesha said: "The system wasn't made to protect us. To get justice, the people themselves have to be justice."
The protesting people included people of various races and groups of students from at least three area colleges.
Attorneys for Tamir's family have asked police to release the complete surveillance video of the confrontation between him and the officer.
Police allowed the family's attorneys to watch the video on Monday and said they would release video footage on Wednesday. Officials noted that the video is considered evidence and said they wanted to be sensitive to the family, the community and the officer, whom they described as distraught.
Ferguson shooting protests spread across US
Protesting the Ferguson shooting and the grand jury decision people across America have taken to the streets. A dozen US cities have seen new protests over the decision not to charge a white policeman who shot a black teenager in Ferguson , Missouri .
Businesses were attacked in Oakland . At one point a fire set by protesters burnt across four lanes of Oakland 's Telegraph Avenue . Protesters in Seattle blocked traffic. A cyclist blocked a road in Los Angeles . Police cars were attacked.
Media reports said:
Demonstrations from New York to Seattle were mostly peaceful but rioting broke out in Oakland , California .
There was some unrest in Ferguson itself, with police making 44 arrests, but the town did not see rioting on the scale of Monday night.
Police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, said: "I know I did my job right"
However, many in Ferguson 's predominantly African-American community had called for the officer to be charged with murder, but the grand jury's decision means the police officer will not face state criminal charges over the shooting. Young protestors in Ferguson told the violence is "necessary".
In Ferguson , the number of National Guardsmen was more than tripled. Some 2,200 National Guard soldiers were deployed to assist police in keeping order in and around the town.
There is tension as police try to move people from the area - officers were saying anyone standing in the street would be subject to arrest. Some were giving chase to people in the surrounding streets and tonight they have dogs with them. A police helicopter was hovering overhead with a spotlight.
Further along, police and the National Guard faced off with an angry crowd in front of the Police Department.
It is now being said that looting in Ferguson was grossly over-reported while protestors protecting businesses was grossly under-reported. A police officer said some protesters helped them protect businesses.
Protests were reported in 12 cities: St Louis itself as well as Seattle , Albuquerque , New York , Cleveland , Los Angeles , Oakland , Minneapolis , Atlanta , Portland , Chicago and Boston .
In Oakland , in the San Francisco Bay area, rioters vandalised police cars and businesses in the centre during a second night of unrest in the port city of 406,000 people. Looting was reported in several locations, including a classic car dealership and a mobile phone store, while a main road was briefly blocked.
On Monday night, 43 arrests were made in Oakland as police struggled to control a crowd of some 2,000 people. Protesters damaged police cars and businesses. Windows were smashed at restaurants and car dealerships, and several rubbish bins were set alight.
People blocked traffic in cities
Protesters briefly stopped traffic in central Los Angeles before police moved in to clear them off. Protesters blocked highways using barricades. More people joined the protests in Los Angeles . Protesters staged "die-ins" at a major intersection. One group of demonstrators there massed on the freeway, carrying barricades and halting traffic. Within minutes, police chased them onto an overpass. People living in those downtown L.A. high rise apartments/condos are hearing a lot of helicopter noises tonight.
Protesters in New York briefly shut down the Brooklyn Bridge and disrupted traffic on other roads.
A car ploughed into protesters blocking a road at a rally in Minneapolis , injuring one person.
Protesters staged a sit-in outside the office of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.
In Washington , DC , protesters gathered on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery.
Inmates in Boston taped Brown's name on their window.
US president Barack Obama said: "The problem is not just a Ferguson problem, it's an American problem".
Giuliani slams 'racial arsonists'
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was "correct" and the only one they could have reached in the racially charged case.
"I believe it was a correct verdict," Giuliani said on CNN Tuesday. "In fact, I think it was the only verdict the grand jury could reach."
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Giuliani sparked controversy over his contention that the fatal shooting of Brown is not emblematic of a larger problem. "I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks," Giuliani said. "We're talking about the exception here."
"Black people who kill black people go to jail," Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson, who was also a guest on "Meet the Press," replied. "White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail."
On Tuesday, Giuliani did not back away from his comments.
Giuliani, who lost his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, criticized president Obama's comments in the wake of the grand jury's decision.
"When the president was talking last night about training the police, of course, the police should be trained," Giuliani said. "He also should have spent 15 minutes on training the [black] community to stop killing each other. In numbers that are incredible — incredible — 93 percent of blacks are shot by other blacks. They are killing each other. And the racial arsonists, who enjoyed last night, this was their day of glory."
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