Tamir Rice, 12, carrying a toy gun, was shot two seconds after the officer arrived. It’s overwhemingly obvious that the officer went on the call intending to kill the “suspect” immediately. No warning, no talk, just an instantaneous draw-and-fire. But he faces no charges at all for what was obviously an intent to kill, regardless of the circumstances. Contrast the treatment of Dylann Roof — an adult mass murderer on the run, subject to an “armed and dangerous alert” (which means that officers should expect to face an immediate and deadly threat).
When Roof was found by police, he was politely asked to surrender his weapon — then taken for a hamburger by the officers before being carried to jail. An armed cold-blooded killer on the run, approached with reasonable but nonviolent caution, treated with respect and compassion (as all suspects should be). But a 12-year-old boy, in a park, with a toy, suspected of nothing other than being “suspicious” by some random fearful caller, is killed in two seconds — in two seconds — a 12-year-old killed in two seconds.
The reason for the different treatment is obvious — and a searing indictment of a nation that arrogantly preaches to others about values and morals and rights and democracy. Preachments accompanied, of course, by missiles, bombs, hospital raids, regime change, weapons sales to tyrants and extremists and other instances of high morality and universal values. The killer of Tamir Rice bears his own individual guilt — but in our sick society, the fish rots from the head.