If you remember, locally, Cleveland was the focal point of the nation when young Tamir Rice was shot by police in a Cleveland Park in 2014. Black Teenager shot by White Cop in Cleveland blazed across the national headlines. The Cop was tried and convicted by the media before all the facts came out. Then you found out Tamir Rice was waving a gun around. Then you found out the orange safety tip was broken off of the gun in question. Then you found out that the cops didn't randomly single out Rice, but a neighbor had called 911 complaining that a minor was pointing a gun at people. Then you found out that the cops in question never got the message from dispatch that the suspect could be a minor. The Rice Shooting made headlines for a month. Every layer of the Tamir Rice story was greeted by another layer of facts which muddied up the already muddy waters. In the Tamir Rice Case, the cops were wrong and Tamir Rice was wrong. Not so wrong that he deserved to die, but wrong nonetheless. I even heard the absurd take on a local radio station that "who among us hasn't waved a gun around at a public park as a kid?"
What?!!? Um, not me or anyone I grew up with....but instead of common ground, people immediately took sides. NBA players cried that they could have been Tamir Rice, (how the Hoodie Became a Racially Charged Garment) and Rush Limbaugh referred to an American movement known as "The War on Cops." Protesters took to the streets of Cleveland and blocked traffic. The Rice Family sued everything and everyone.....
......If the city waved a $6 million check in front of me, I'd be like "SCREW YOU, the evidence shows that you were wrong." If I knew my kid was AT LEAST partially to blame, I would take that $6 million and quietly slink out of the public spotlight (which is what happened in the Rice Case). Who knows if a jury would find my kid or the cops more liable. - Beacon of Speech October 6, 2019
When I wrote that a month ago, the statements I made about the Tamir Rice Case were in reference to rioting. When to riot, when not to riot, when rioting is a tough call. What I did not do is try to sell you Tamir's Innocence. In the Tamir Rice Case, was the Cop 60% to blame, Mom 10% to blame, and Tamir 30% to blame? 33%-33%-33%? What percentage of blame fell to what parties?
Was the Cop 100% to blame, Mom 0% to blame, and Tamir 0% to blame? Uh, absolutely not. But on the 5 Year Anniversary of Tamir Rice's death, that is what cleveland.com is trying to sell you. Everyone has a right to their OPINION, but cleveland.com is trying to sell you the innocence angle every single day. Not 5 years ago, but this week.
Think I'm exaggerating?
November 10: Tamir Rice’s legacy deserves our support. Cultural center will enrich lives of Cleveland youth (A)
November 14: Our racism killed Tamir Rice. Now it’s time to do right by his legacy (B)
November 14: What we owe to Tamir Rice and his Mom (C)
November 18: How an unexceptional gazebo in Cleveland became a symbol of Tamir Rice and America’s Civil Rights legacy (D)
November 19: In Tamir Rice's death, artists found inspiration to carry on his legacy (E)
November 19: Tamir Rice’s death brought Cleveland Police union to the national stage, and to the side of a future president (F)
November 20: Artists, Activists commemorate legacy of Tamir Rice at Cleveland Museum of Art (G)
November 20: On the grim anniversary of Tamir Rice’s killing, let’s commit to a better, safer Cleveland for all youth of color (H)
November 20: Samaria Rice, ACLU create booklet in Tamir’s memory to teach kids what to do when they encounter cops (I)
November 21: Here’s how Cleveland police have changed since Tamir Rice’s death (J)
November 21: Tamir Rice, officer use of force and Cleveland’s high cost of fixing its police department (K)
November 21: Artists and activists seek to honor Tamir Rice’s legacy through cultural center, restoration of gazebo (L)
November 21: Tamir Rice’s story is about America’s fascination with guns and its fear of black people who have them (M)
Now all of these stories are from one specific perspective: The Pure Innocence of Tamir. You would think that from a half dozen differing sources, you would get a half dozen different angles? Nope. You get a NARRATIVE.
You could say, "Fred Hunt, you're just a jerk for questioning a dead kid." I'm not saying that I'm not. Beacon of Speech is a Free Speech website. It barely exists, but I can say what I want. And in the Tamir Rice Case there's lots and lots of blame to go around. I still have questions about Tamir's Dad and Police Dispatchers. But today I am calling my shot: Within 2 years cleveland.com will be sold for pennies on the dollar and the Cleveland Plain Dealer will be down to one day a week circulation. How can I make such a statement? Because this Tamir Rice coverage is revisionist history and consumers of news know it. Instead of being enraged, Clevelanders will eventually become apathetic and simply change news sources.
Instead of taking my word for it, let's see what the masses think about cleveland.com's perspective.
Hmmm. I wonder why commenting is closed?
I wish there was a way to find out what readers feel....
Let's go out on a limb and try the Crime Section for November 14, 2019
I think I'll post the most popular comment.
The most popular comment was for a story not in the crime section?
Article C: Comments turned off.
(Noticing a trend yet?)
Article D: Most Popular Comment?
Chris Quinn is an editor at cleveland.com championing a movement called "Right to be Forgotten." For minor crimes you can petition cleveland.com to purge you name. Tiimothy Loehmann was one of the cops in the Tamir Rice Case. Queen's post speaks for itself.
Article E: Comments are available...but not working?
Article F: Most popular comment for this article?
Yes, the article does try to link Donald Trump and Tamir Rice.
Article G: Comments turned off.
Same screen shot as Article E except different ad.
Most popular comment for this article?
Most popular comment on Facebook? (The 'she' is Tamir's Mom.)
Article I: Comments turned off yet again.
Let's try the crime section again.
Hmmm. No Tamir comments.
Let's try Facebook.
Very interesting. The favorite comments are split. Ms. Rose likes the Tamir Safety Pamphlet, Mr. Pitts, not so much. Facebook seemed to support the Tamir Safety Pamphlet. Then why did the editors turn off the Comments?
Article J: Comments referred to Crime Section. Okay, let's go there.
The most popular comment is kind of curious. Maybe I misread the article. Then I checked Facebook. Also curious, cleveland.com stopped sharing Tamir Rice articles on Facebook after Article I. Went to Twitter, clevleand.com also stopped sharing Tamir Rice articles on Twitter.
Article K: Comments are on. Let's see the top comment.
This article is also not on Facebook or Twitter.
Article L: Comments coincidentally are not working, again.
Article not on Facebook. Myles Garrett is stealing the masses' thunder on Twitter.
Article M: Most popular comment?
Again, the most popular comment goes against the grain of what cleveland.com is selling you.
A dozen Tamir Rice stories in a week or so? Since the 5 Year Anniversary is technically tomorrow, better post my missive before cleveland.com drops 5 more Tamir Rice articles.