Reactions To Tyree King's Death Hauntingly Resemble The Aftermath Of Tamir Rice's
Two years ago, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead by Cleveland police; the officers involved claimed he reached for a gun (which ended up being a toy) right before a policeman fatally shot him. The country was outraged as no one was held accountable for the life taken, just like so many other killing of black men including Michael Brown and Laquan McDoanld. So on Wednesday night, when Columbus, OH police officers fatally shot 13-year-old Tyree King, it felt like the 2014 incident was happening over again.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that police were called to the area on an armed robbery call. The robbery victim claimed that some men had approached him with a gun and demanded money. Police approached three men nearby, and they fled. They claim that one pulled what was later determined to be a BB gun from his waistband. Columbus police later stated that King's BB gun looked practically identical to police weapon.
While we don't yet know all of the details surrounding the situation, recognizing that a young black boy has been killed for possessing a toy gun is enough to at the very lease cause frustration across the country. It certainly doesn't do anything to soothe the tension between police departments and black communities. In 2015, Gallup released findings that American confidence of police reached a 22 year low. Understandably, many took to Twitter to voice their concerns on the police department's handling of the situation, and anger that this type of situation keeps occurring in our country with no measures proposed to decrease the violence.
Some reminded us that after Rice was killed in Cleveland, the police told a narrative that contradicted surveillance footage that was later released of the incident.
Others pointed out the fact that Ohio is an open-carry state, yet children keep getting shot for carrying toy guns.
The fact that both Rice and King were young struck a chord with some.
And others reminded us that attitudes of police when dealing with young black men haven't changed much at all in the last two years, despite national outcry for justice.
Also discussed was the difference between the way cops react to black and white shooters.
Although we don't know for sure how similar the instances were between Rice and King, the circumstances surrounding their deaths are enough to take a pause and consider the motivations of the parties involved. Hopefully more information will become available if any video from the incident is released or more witnesses are questioned so we can get a fuller picture of the story.