Tamir Rice


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I lived in Cleveland twenty five years. So the Tamir Rice case is close to my heart. I have nine grandchildren and he was only 12 years old. Each and every senseless murder by police of young men of color has hurt my heart. But this twelve year old, playing in a public park alone and dying in the snow on a cold Cleveland day ripped me to shreds.

Tamir lived close to the park. His sister was home and was 14 years old. A person called 911 that there was a suspicious person in the park and looked like he had a toy gun. The 911 operator radioed the police car and did not say it may have been a child with a toy gun. The cop car rolled up practically on top of twelve year old Tamir. A cop jumped out, called to Tamir, who was into his game, and within two seconds this child was dead. His life cut out without an investigation, without giving the child time to process that a cop car was there and he may have been told to do something. He stopped, turned to the person speaking to him and fell to the ground, dead. Dead and lifeless.

He went out to play on a cold Cleveland snowy day in a public park and then he was dead. Alone. His mother and sister barred by police from going to him and perhaps being able to hold him in their arms as he died. A twelve year old child playing on a winter day with a toy gun was dead and his Mom would never hear him laugh again or see him open his birthday presents ever again. This is just the beginning of the story.

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Cleveland Cops Can’t Stop Trolling Tamir Rice’s Family

Published on Apr 25, 2016

Cleveland, Ohio has granted the Tamir Rice family a six million dollar settlement in a civil lawsuit filed against the city and its law enforcement. Unrepentant officials decided to twist the knife into Rice’s parents one more time by saying they hope they spend the settlement money on a campaign warning of the dangers of toy guns. Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola (ThinkTank), and Jimmy Dore, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“THE CITY OF CLEVELAND announced on Monday that it will pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was tragically killed by police officers in 2014 while holding a toy gun.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association released a statement responding to the settlement. Rather than acknowledging any error on the police’s part, the association suggested that the Rice family use the funds to “educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms.””*

Read more here: https://theintercept.com/2016/04/25/t…

Hosts: Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, Jimmy Dore

Shocking Details About Cleveland Cops Who Killed Tamir Rice

Published on Dec 22, 2014

The Cleveland police officers who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice have some hideous stories about them as well as the Cleveland Police Department itself.

 

Not Justice & Not Enough: Tamir Rice Family Gets $6M Settlement for Police Killing of 12-Year-Old

Published on Apr 26, 2016

http://democracynow.org – As Cleveland officials agree to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of Tamir Rice, the youngest victim in a spate of well-known police killings of unarmed African Americans, we speak with Zoe Salzman, one of his family’s attorneys, and with Rian Brown, an organizer from Black Lives

City agrees to demolish gazebo where Tamir Rice was shot

Friday, April 29th 2016, 8:10 am EDTFriday, April 29th 2016, 9:21 am EDT

Tamir Rice shooting: Cleveland to pay $6 million to settle family’s lawsuit

  • ayor says he hopes the settlement will begin to move city toward closure
  • City doesn’t acknowledge fault in the fatal 2014 shooting of 12-year-old boy

(CNN)The city of Cleveland will pay $6 million to settle the federal lawsuit filed by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy killed by police gunfire in November 2014, according to a settlement announced Monday in U.S. District Court.

According to terms of the settlement, the city acknowledges no fault in Tamir’s death, which came after a 911 caller told of someone in a city park brandishing what appeared to be a toy gun.
Officer Timothy Loehmann, a trainee, shot Tamir moments after arriving in response to the call. Police said the boy was pulling out what was later found to be a toy gun when he was shot.

Prosecutor: "Perfect storm of human error" killed Tamir Rice

Prosecutor: “Perfect storm of human error” killed Tamir Rice 03:35
In December, a grand jury declined to indict Loehmann or his trainer, Officer Frank Garmback, in Tamir’s death. The grand jury concluded the shooting was a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and communications” but not a criminal act, prosecutor Tim McGinty said at the time.
The family’s January 2015 wrongful death lawsuit argued the city was negligent in Tamir’s death.
The family said dispatchers should have told officers about a 911 caller’s statements that the gun Tamir had was likely a toy, that officers approached the scene too aggressively and Loehmann fired too quickly, and that they failed to help the boy after he was shot.

Enhanced video of Tamir Rice shooting released

The family also alleged that Loehmann wasn’t suited to be a police officer and that the city failed to vet or supervise officers properly.
In response, the city said in legal filings that Tamir was at fault and maintained the city was entitled to immunity under state and federal law.
Mayor Frank Jackson later apologized for the wording, calling it hurtful and disrespectful.
On Monday, Jackson addressed reporters on the settlement, declining to offer details about how the agreement was reached and expressing hope the settlement would begin to move the city toward closure.
But he said, “There is no price that you can put on the life, on the loss, of a 12-year-old child.”
The city will pay half of the money this year, and half next year, according to a document filed in court.
The Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association responded with a statement. “We have maintained from the onset this has been an absolute tragedy for the Rice family as well as our involved officers and their families. Our hearts continue to be with them,” Stephen Loomis, the president of the association, said in a short emailed statement.
“We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms. Something positive must come from this tragic loss. That would be educating youth of the dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm.
“We look forward to the possibility of working with the Rice family to achieve this common goal.”
A probate judge must still approve the settlement, according to the document.

Mother of Tamir Rice says police threatened to arrest her

Published on Dec 8, 2014

The mother of the boy who had a toy gun and was fatally shot by police in Cleveland talks to the media.

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This is obviously not a new news story. But so many young black lives have been snuffed out and Tamir was a child. I have a grandson who is twelve. I felt due to the recent killing of the young man in Texas, who was shot seven times in the back, it was time to remind Americans that we do not shoot first and ask questions later.
To the entire Rice family, I apologize for the lack of compassion and empathy on the part of the officers who had just killed Tamir. Rest in Peace, little one. You will never be forgotten. May your family’s grief heal with time and may you find peace.
I feel that Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio as well as Governor John Kasich should introduce legislation to make it a crime to manufacture or sell toy guns.
Namaste,
Barbara
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Off-duty cop shoots teen for suspicion of pot


Cop Shoots Teen In the Back SEVEN TIMES Because He ‘Thought He Had Marijuana’

The parents of the dead youth must be totally heart broken. The young girl and her parents must be besides themselves with worry and grief. Officers of the law are an important part of our society. In Nazi Germany, the police became all powerful and corrupt and committed outrageous acts of thievery, rape, murder and other acts I can not go into here.
Police are supposed to protect the good citizens from those who would run amok and destroy people’s lives and our society.
Many officers are not doing that today. There seem to be a certain type of officer that is racist and bigoted and uses fear as an excuse to shoot first, glean information later.
Now let me say here, that I know that there are many good, ethical and moral cops in America. It is the bad ones that get the attention and make all officers suspect in people’s eyes.
The only remedy I see is for all officers who push the line, react in a racist manner, shoot a child or a young person in the back, to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The law needs to be color blind. Shooting someone who is not Caucasian — shooting anyone — is not allowed unless the officer has done all that is legally required, to warn the person that they will now shoot them if they do not cease and desist immediately. A shot in the leg or knee or hip would be understandable. Seven rounds in the back is not.
I know some people are offended by the slogan, Black Lives Matter. Being a Caucasian woman who is aging gives me some perspective. My perspective is that Stop and Frisk is being aimed at people of color. Being a person of color does not make you bad or a gang member. Yes, there are many kids of color in gangs. There are many Caucasians in gangs also. Gangs provide the acceptance and sense of family, many people who come to America or who are born here can not find. I think gangs are bad and hurt our American society but I must emphasize that Lives of Color Matter, Black Lives Matter, and in fact, All Lives Matter. Rich or poor, straight or not, Lives Matter.
Having studied abnormal psychology, I know that there are many people out there who can kill without feeling anything. They often start as serial rapists and move on to being serial murderers. They are still human beings and they do have human rights even though they do not give them to other people.
In Cleveland, last year two officers killed Tamir Rice; a child playing in a park with a play gun. Someone called in a suspicious person. Tamir was dead within seconds of the officers arriving. I cried and ranted and then I prayed. The officers did not do time but the city of Cleveland now must pay the Rice family $6 million dollars. It won’t bring their child back or close the black hole left inside them. It won’t let them ever hear Tamir’s laugh, or watch him open his birthday presents again, but I hope it will make the city train their officers better and to punish them whenever they commit a crime such as taking the life of a child.
May Johnathan Santellanna rest in peace. 

This is What I Always Say…


Hello everyone,

I am writing today to share something that many of you who have followed me here at WordPress have heard me say before. We are not born racist.  We are born completely loving and accepting of goodness. We are born not seeing each other differently but as a version of ourselves. We are not racist at birth. What happens? Well, we are taught by others, by adults to be racist. We are taught to care what color we are and what color others are. We are taught that color has value. Some colors are more important than others.

 

Being a painter as well as a photographer, color is important to me. The color of a flower, a bird, a tree, the color of sand at the beach, the color of the majestic mountains which scrape the sky. When I am painting, I often mix two or perhaps three colors to create the perfect color for what I am painting in the world. One color is not needed more than others. Some colors are needed in just a little dab. Sometimes you wash a little color over what you have already painted to enhance the color. It doesn’t really change it. It deepens or accentuates the color. Every color on my palate is just as important to me as the next one. Yes, they are different, but each has equal value to the heart and to this beautiful Universe.

 

I included the Iris below because it is an unusual color. I raised it and photographed it. It not a common color for an iris, but it is a pretty color. And the photograph is my gift to you. I can’t really give you a gift but this is as close as I can come. Please accept it in the spirit in which it is given.

 

Golden Iris. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

Golden Iris. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

 

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I am also writing this blog in memory of every human being, adult or child, who has suffered in any way or has been killed because of the color of their skin. I am writing for every grief stricken parent who will never be able to fill the hole within themselves. I am writing for every sibling left behind because their sister or brother is dead because of the color of their skin. I am writing for every lost sibling who will never laugh together over a private joke. I write today for everyone who is different in some manner and is afraid that one day someone will kill them for their differences.

 

I am writing this today for a young man. A young man who worked for me along time ago. He was a hard worker, he had a good sense of humor, he had a good and loving heart. He offered someone a ride home one evening and the person slit his throat because he was different. He bled out all alone. I am sure he was afraid, and wondering why? Why? Why?

Because he was different and this person hated him for being different. Labels were applied by the stranger who killed him and so he slowly bled out behind the wheel of his car alone. Alone and gone too soon.

 

“Immature grapes are made by the breath of the Master.

Then the sourness of duality, hate, and strife disappears,

and they are peeled of their skins to become one in the wine.”

—Rumi

Anti-Abortion laws don’t decrease abortions


How women respond to these closings, however, is another story.

We do not have large enough surveys to discern behavior in different states or to track how it has changed over time — and in any case, people may not feel comfortable sharing the truth in a survey.

Google searches can help us understand what’s really going on. They show a hidden demand for self-induced abortion reminiscent of the era before Roe v. Wade.

This demand is concentrated in areas where it is most difficult to get an abortion, and it has closely tracked the recent state-level crackdowns on abortion.

In 2015, in the United States, there were about 119,000 searches for the exact phrase “how to have a miscarriage.” There were also searches for other variants — “how to self-abort” — and for particular methods. Over all, there were more than 700,000 Google searches looking into self-induced abortions in 2015.

For comparison, there were some 3.4 million searches for abortion clinics and, according to estimates by the Guttmacher Institute, there are around one million legal abortions a year.

The 700,000 searches included about 160,000 asking how to get abortion pills through unofficial channels — searches like “buy abortion pills online” and “free abortion pills.”

There were tens of thousands of searches looking into abortion by herbs like parsley or by vitamin C. There were some 4,000 searches looking for directions on coat hanger abortions, including about 1,300 for the exact phrase “how to do a coat hanger abortion.” There were also a few hundred looking into abortion through bleaching one’s uterus and punching one’s stomach.

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Search rates for self-induced abortion were fairly steady from 2004 through 2007. They began to rise in late 2008, coinciding with the financial crisis and the recession that followed. They took a big leap in 2011, jumping 40 percent. The Guttmacher Institute singles out 2011 as the beginning of the country’s recent crackdown on abortion; 92 provisions that restrict access to abortion were enacted. There was not a comparable increase in searches for self-induced abortions in Canada, which has not cracked down.

Of course, we cannot know from Google searches how many women successfully give themselves abortions, but evidence suggests that a significant number may. One way to test this is to compare abortion and birth data.

In 2011, the last year with complete state-level abortion data, women living in states with few abortion clinics had many fewer legal abortions.

Compare the 10 states with the most abortion clinics per capita (a list that includes New York and California) to the 10 states with the fewest abortion clinics per capita (a list that includes Mississippi and Oklahoma).

The number of new state laws that restrict abortion spiked in 2011. Women living in states with the fewest abortion clinics had 54 percent fewer legal abortions — a difference of 11 abortions for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.

Women living in states with the fewest abortion clinics also had more live births. However, the difference was not enough to make up for the lower number of abortions. There were six more live births for every 1,000 women of childbearing age.

In other words, there appear to have been some missing pregnancies in parts of the country where it was hardest to get an abortion. Self-induced abortions could be playing a role, although more research must be done on rates of pregnancy and unintentional miscarriage in different regions.

One recent survey in Texas also reported a surprisingly high number of attempted self-induced abortions. It found that 4.1 percent of Texas women were sure or suspected that their best friend had tried a self-induced abortion. The researchers asked about best friends because women may not feel comfortable admitting their own attempts. In fact, so much secrecy surrounds abortion today that it is likely that many women would not know that their closest friends had tried a self-induced abortion.

According to another survey, which was published in Sociological Science, 34 percent of Americans who have been involved in an abortion — either they had one or they were the potential father — disclosed this to no one else. Among those who did tell others, they told an average of 1.2 people. We can expect that people would be even less likely to inform friends and family members about self-induced abortions.

No one has the right to tell any woman what to do with her body. This is pure misogyny. Some women just don’t want to have children. They know whether or not they are ready to have children or not. If we ever get a 100% successful birth control, we will have less abortions. Abortions have been performed since the beginning of time in all civilizations and cultures. Women have always fought to control their bodies and their reproductive experiences. We can’t go back to the self abortion because we will have a spike in the number of women who die from the complications of the procedure. They people will scream again because women are dying. We are in a crazy circle of cause and effect. This decision is a woman’s decision, not a societal decision.

Stop the War on Women

 Namaste,

Barbara

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Compassion – Another View


 

I watched this TED talk and laughed and cried. I want us all to live in a world where enemies become friends and where compassion is more important than being right. I want there to be no marginalized people. I like the idea of kinship. I hope you all enjoy this talk and take the spirit of the talk to heart. Be blessed. Hugs, Barbara

 

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Everyone Needs To Be Heard


I have been monitoring the murder of Freddie Gray and I was glad to see that the protests were peaceful, until yesterday.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:  “Violence is the language of the unheard.”

I want to share that I have personally marched and picketed up to 1995, when my husband died.  It was a very difficult time for me, after his loss, and I could no longer use my energy as I once did.  While protesting in Harrisburg, PA; Washington, DC; Cleveland, OH; and Erie, PA, as it happened, the marches and protests I participated in were peaceful.

 

 

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

 

As my readers know, I am a pacifist.  I believe in Peace, not war.  What does war get us?  Nothing.

I had a conversation last night with a very dear friend, and we were discussing Freddie Gray’s murder, and the protests that were beginning, at that time, to turn violent.  He made me realize that what Martin Luther King, Jr. said back in the 60’s, continues to be true:  If people are not heard; if their words and peaceful protests are not met with understanding and action, with changes for the betterment of all peoples, then there will be violence, there will be bloodshed.

This has been a very difficult time for me, because I do not believe in violence; and yet, I know that if people continue to go unheard, unheeded and undervalued by their city governments, state governments, federal government, there will be repercussions.

My friend is starting a list — he has found, so far, at least 1 young man has been killed by police everyday in the past year.  Not just black men, but hispanic men, asian men, white men; muslim men, Christian men, Jewish men.  Men from all races, religions and creeds.  It surprised and shocked me that so many young men are dying at the hands of our own police, here in the United States.

 

 

Black Lives are Important to America

Black Lives are Important to America

 

 

It is difficult to comprehend that the police have gotten to a place where they feel they have the right to take a life because they run away, or because they mouth off.  It has been a while since the police have been seen in such a bad light, but the time is here again, when police departments across the nation are losing the confidence of the citizens whom they are supposed to “serve and protect”.

My concept of “serve and protect” is to be able to maturely come to a valid assessment of a situation and to react to that situation with the best of your ability for what is within the law and what is in the best interests of the community.

I live in a suburb of Cleveland, OH, as many of you know, and a short time ago, we had a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, who was playing in a park.  Someone called in a 911 call to say that there was someone acting suspiciously in the park.  A police cruiser was sent to the scene and the two officers killed this child because he was playing with a toy gun.

My heart breaks for this child and his family.  His death is something that they will never recover from, completely.

The arrival of the police and the fatal shots were videoed by a by-stander, and so much was found wrong with the behavior of the police officers, that even in my idealism, I can find no excuse for such terrible behavior.  They shot Tamir within 12 seconds of arriving on the scene.  There was no discussion, no evaluation, no attempt to diffuse the situation.  There was only immediate, permanent death.

 

 

Peaceful protests show that people want to be heard.

Peaceful protests show that people want to be heard.

 

 

In Baltimore, the protests have become violent and unfortunately no one listened to the people during the peaceful protests which occurred first.  I read a quote once that it takes war to bring about change.

I understand why this was said, but I have to believe that if we just listen to what people are saying, to their honest, peaceful words for peace and change, we can solve this together with all Americans equally voicing their opinions.

 

 

UnnecessaryViolence1Unheard people will resort to violence

 

If the unheard voices do not become heard, we could end up in a revolution within our shores, or another civil war; not state against state, not north against south, but the poor against the privileged, and the disenfranchised against those with power.

I have 9 grandchildren.  I do not want them to have to live through a civil war, or a revolution.

Right now, the majority of the protesters are black and they are protesting the unnecessary death of Freddie Gray.

 

 

Anger erupts as people feel they have no other options for their anger.

Anger erupts as people feel they have no other options for their anger.

 

 

If police tactics and brutality do not end, there will be protests among every racial, religious and other disenfranchised group in America.  This is never going to go away without Justice; police officers must be held accountable and responsible for their bad choices, and for the murder of people they are supposed to protect.

I want to say how badly I feel for all the young lives which have been taken for no good reason.  I want to say the police are brutalizing American citizens and should be punished for their crimes against the citizens of the United States.

In general, I believe that the police will be given the amount of respect that they give to the people they are attempting to arrest, but even if they are not, it is not right to kill those people.

My message, therefore, to community leaders across this country — to police commissioners and their officers — is to Stop Killing Young People.

If we forget the importance and sacredness of life, then we will become the barbarians that human beings once were.

Black Lives Matter.

Hispanic Lives Matter.

Asian Lives Matter.

Native American Lives Matter.

European Lives Matter.

Middle-Eastern Lives Matter.

Muslim Lives Matter.

Christian Lives Matter.

Jewish Lives Matter.

LGBT Lives Matter.

Straight Lives Matter.

Criminal’s Lives Matter.

Police’s Lives Matter.

ALL LIVES MATTER.

We need to start acting like it.

Life is Important


A few days ago, I posted a piece about ISIS deliberately impregnated a nine year old girl. This little girl experienced rape and trauma to her little body. Today, ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city. I want to thank you all for your comments on my initial post. Please add your prayers to your comments.

 

There are many people in the world who have lost their respect for human life. All life is created by Divinity. All life, human or otherwise, is precious and does not deserve ill-treatment. Impregnating a woman or a girl is power and control. It is humiliating the female and wanting her family to shun her. This is a way to destroy the life of the female and to devastate her family. It also raises a new generation that would be damaged emotionally by the circumstances of their lives and families.

 

Now that ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city, the city may collapse. If it does, there are thousands of lives at risk. Men and women captured and tortured and possibly killed as so many others have been. Women and girls raped or gang raped. Why? Because they are different, they call their God a different name.

 

Yet, down through history, the different names of a Divine Being have separated human beings from each other. These Divine Names are the reason for wars, atrocities, rapes, and mass murders. Hundreds of humans have died throughout the centuries because civilizations and countries have at times lost their respect for human life. WWII is one example. Millions of people were killed because of who they were but also because of who and what they weren’t.

 

For people to rape and impregnate children, there is a disconnect between their minds and their emotions. Many are psychopaths and feel no emotion. Not just people in ISIS but even some American citizens. The elderly have no use or meaning to these people and neither do women of any age. A world where life has no meaning is a terrifying and devastating place for us to be in.

 

Life is important. It has meaning that many don’t want to acknowledge. The meaning of life carries us to kindness, compassion, love and joy. These attributes carry us to peace. A lack of these attributes carries us to war. What is war good for?  NOTHING.