Why Do We Continue to Tolerate Young Americans Being Killed by Police?

Robert Reich | Robert Reich’s Facebook Page | Reader Supported News | December 29, 2015


oday an Ohio grand jury declined to indict the Cleveland police officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice, an unarmed black 12-year-old, in 2014. The officer claimed he repeatedly yelled at Tamir to “show me your hands,” but surveillance video shows him opening fire within 2 seconds of emerging from the police cruiser. Last May, the Justice Department found Cleveland police “routinely” use “unjustifiable force” against not only criminals and suspects but also innocent victims of crimes.

Meanwhile, this past weekend — just weeks after a Chicago grand jury indicted a Chicago police officer for shooting Laquan McDonald (a video showed the 17-year-old walking down the street with his back to the police when he was shot 16 times) — the Chicago police fatally shot another teenager, Quintonio LeGrier, along with an innocent bystander.

The list of young Americans killed by the police in circumstances where deadly force isn’t necessary – where the suspects are unarmed or walking away, or even where stun guns could have been used instead of bullets – continues to lengthen.

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