By ELAYNA PAULK
In November 2014, Tamir Rice, who was at a local park playing with a BB gun, was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer after the officers assumed his toy gun was threatening. On Thursday afternoon, his murder was deemed “objectively reasonable” according to the third report from a Cuyahoga County prosecutor.
Newsweek, CNN, and other major news media outlets have since reported this issue.
What baffles me is that whenever someone is murdered by a civilian, that civilian is often found guilty after trial. However, when an innocent, young, black boy is murdered by government workers, society questions whether the boy’s actions warranted his murder and often times, the police officer(s) aren’t reprimanded for their behaviors.
How many Tamir Rices must die before we step in an admit that there is a problem with our justice system? How many incarcerated men need to protest before we actually do something about it?
The news media’s portrayal of black men in America doesn’t make this task any easier. The media is the reason why we assume the black man is the aggressor in any criminal case. Refer to the portrayal of recent high school graduate Mike Brown for instance, or the images of Trayvon Martin as a thug when he was murdered.
The media must stop painting negative images of black men and maybe, just maybe, we can begin to assess the real problem, the cold blooded murders of innocent people.