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Saturday, December 9, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 9, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Peaceful Protests for Tamir Rice in Cleveland

CLEVELAND (CN) - After two days of rallies, with a third still to come Wednesday, protests in Cleveland honoring Tamir Rice have proven peaceful but frustrated.

At least 100 people joined the Tuesday protest that began outside the Cuyahoga County Justice Center, one day after a grand jury declined to indict police officers for the Nov. 22, 2014, death of Rice.

The 12-year-old had been playing alone with a pellet gun, and District Attorney Timothy McGinty recommended that the grand jury not charge either the officer who fired, Timothy Loehmann, nor his partner, Frank Garmback, saying it was reasonable for the officers to perceive Rice presented a genuine threat.

Outside the justice center Tuesday, members of a local activist group who call themselves the Black Man Army held red, black and green flags.

As attendees took turns using a portable speaker system to voice their grievances about the case, one woman urged the people in attendance to prevent McGinty from being re-elected as the county prosecutor.

Cleveland Police directed traffic around the protesters as they marched through downtown Cleveland, with no physical confrontations or arrests.

In contrast to the protests that erupted after similar cases involving Cleveland police killings of unarmed black suspects, police succeeded in blocking the activists from marching onto the Shoreway, a stretch of highway that runs along Lake Erie to the north of the downtown area.

Back in May, protesters blocked traffic on the Shoreway after a judge acquitted Officer Michael Brelo for the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a high-speed chase.

Cleveland.com reports that the police formed another barricade at an onramp to Interstate 90 and Interstate 71 to prevent protestors from entering that highway.

In addition to chanting "No Justice, No Peace" - a refrain that has been heard in similar protests across the country - activists could also be heard repeating "Unacceptable!" and "He was only 12 years old, how do you justify that," according to Cleveland.com.

Several news outlets reported that the protesters formed human chains at major intersections, sometimes laying in the street for several minutes to signify the four minutes that Tamir Rice went without medical attention after he was shot.

Protesters stopped marching outside Quicken Loans Arena for about an hour and eventually concluded the rally in Public Square around 8:30 p.m.

Another protest will begin outside the Justice Center on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

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