Last weekend, a Cleveland police officer shot and killed a 12-year-old black boy carrying a fake gun in a park. On Friday, police released video of the shooting of Tamir Price.
You can see it here. It’s grainy but still highly disturbing.
It’s one more sad reminder of how quickly things happen in the world of law enforcement, when police arrive at a scene where a suspected shooter might be.
It’s another reminder that police everywhere are challenged, far more than ever, to make sure they are following proper procedures before pulling their guns and possibly killing innocent victims.
In this case, as it became apparent Friday in the wake of the Ferguson non-indictment, the Cleveland case created more questions about whether proper procedures were followed in a police-related shooting.
Why didn’t the dispatcher tell the police officers that the 911 caller had mentioned the gun might be fake?
Why did the police roar up in their car, on the park property, to within several feet of the walking child?
The defense for the shooting, at least at this point, is that Tamir didn’t comply with an officer’s order to put his hands up.
Yet from watching the video, it’s difficult to see how Tamir would have had time to hear someone shout that at him, especially the three times that police claim.
In addition, a startled child especially might have been slow to react when a car comes barreling in front of him, not on a street but on a grass park.
Cleveland police say they will investigate the shooting. A grand jury is planned.
The Price family says it trusts the justice system to work.