Police Abuse

Police Union Boss Says Cop Justified in Killing 'Menacing' 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice

Ignorance of reality is no excuse

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Steve Loomis
WEWS News

Remember Jeffrey Follmer, the Cleveland police union boss who said the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was absolutely justified? Who took to national TV to deliver an ultimatium to Americans: either do a better job of submitting meekly to police authority, or die? I wrote at the time, "I can't imagine a more barbaric take on the wholly unjustified killings" of Rice and John Crawford. Well, Follmer is out—he lost an election and was replaced by union members. Good riddance. But the new president, Steve Loomis, shares many of the same, chilling opinions about police power.

I'm not sure if his comments about Rice are worse than Follmer's, but they certainly aren't much better. According to Politico:

Nothing gets Steve Loomis churning faster than questions about what happened on the day that Tamir Rice was shot.

His constant refrain: The police are heroes misunderstood by a public being fed a steady, media-generated, activist-fueled diet of false information about how they do their jobs.

"Tamir Rice is an absolute example of that," Loomis said. "There's this perception that police just slid up in the car and shot him. That's not reality from the officers' perception. They acted based on what they knew at the time."

This is doublespeak disguised as plain language. Note how he employs the words reality and perception to distort what actually happened—what we know happened. Surveillance video clearly showed a police vehicle pulling up alongside Rice; officer Timothy Loehmann then shot Rice immediately—not after some period of time in which Rice had failed to obey clear instructions, or threatened the officers, or presented some reasonable danger to anyone, but immediately. The officers' perception isn't what matters (or shouldn't be). Perception isn't reality; reality is reality. And the reality is that the cops were in the wrong. They were wrong that Rice was a danger, and they acted wrongly in response. Why is it it considered an acceptable defense when a cop says, I made unreasonable assumptions, acted rashly, and killed someone who had done nothing wrong and was no threat—but hey, my perception was solid…? No one, except an officer of the law, could get away with such a ludicrous explanation.

Loomis had more to say about Rice:

"Tamir Rice is in the wrong," he said. "He's menacing. He's 5-feet-7, 191 pounds. He wasn't that little kid you're seeing in pictures. He's a 12-year-old in an adult body. Tamir looks to his left and sees a police car. He puts his gun in his waistband. Those people—99 percent of the time those people run away from us. We don't want him running into the rec center. That could be a whole other set of really bad events. They're trying to flush him into the field. Frank [the driver] is expecting the kid to run. The circumstances are so fluid and unique. … 

"The guy with the gun is not running. He's walking toward us. He's squaring off with Cleveland police and he has a gun. Loehmann is thinking, 'Oh my God, he's pulling it out of his waistband.'"

He's menacing. The boy they shot and permitted to bleed to death for several minutes—until a bystander intervened—was menacing. The boy with the toy gun, whose sister was intercepted by one of the officers and placed in a squad car as she raced to help her brother. I understand that Loomis's job is to defend even the most incompetent and maniacal officers, but how heartless and off-base can somebody be?

The Politico story in which Loomis is quoted purports to explain that Cleveland is split between pro- and anti-police factions. The author, who interviewed city officials and community leaders, tries to paint a balanced picture. But I find it difficult to sympathize with the side that keeps choosing sociopaths and liars to represent its interests.

Police unions are tools of oppression. They hurt the interests of minority communities, poor people, and civil society at large. Is that sinking in yet, liberals?

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  1. Perception isn’t reality; reality is reality.

    Somebody missed the college classes on post-modernism.

    This is so well understood that even cop union bosses understood.

    1. Well, there is a whole philosophical discussion to be had there. But for practical purposes, I think most people can agree that what the video shows reflects some sort of objective reality.

      1. But for practical purposes, I think most people can agree that what the video shows reflects some sort of objective reality.

        Beautiful.

        1. Also:

          “That’s not reality from the officers’ perception.”

          Who is this assclown – S?ren Kierkegaard?

          1. Well, he wants you to feel fear and trembling, if that counts.

    2. The problem isn’t that the cops perception was incorrect. The problem is that the cops felt entitled to shoot without making an effort to determine if their perception was correct.

  2. It’s a jungle out there. And this makes it clear who the apex predators are…

    1. Apex predators are not this easily frightened and intimidated.

  3. That guy couldn’t look more like an asshole cop even if he tried.

    1. Yes. You would think they would hire some attractive young woman to be their spokesperson. Nope, let’s hire Rod Farva’s fat uncle.

      1. What’s that place you like to eat at with all the shit on the walls?

      2. That little punk stole my neck and deserved to die.

    2. Hey, go easy on the guy. It’s bad enough that his mom fucked a walrus.

  4. “There’s this perception that police just slid up in the car and shot him. That’s not reality from the officers’ perception. They acted based on what they knew at the time.”

    Gee, could that perception have anything to do with the video showing exactly that.

    That comment is especially brazen given the video evidence. Also notable is that he didn’t say anything that contradicts the notion that police just slid up in the car and shot him. Do the unions offer special weaselly bullshit classes or something?

    1. You try shining up that turd we saw jump out of his car while firing on the video. The union is doing the best it can.

      1. Yeah, nice work.

        I’m sort of amazed that they don’t throw one of their guy to the wolves from time to time rather than risk looking like complete sociopaths. But that’s just me.

        1. I’m sort of amazed that they don’t throw one of their guy to the wolves from time to time rather than risk looking like complete sociopaths.

          Do sociopaths know they are sociopaths?

          1. Some do in my experience. A lot of what makes a successful sociopath is convincing people that you are not a sociopath.

  5. Police unions are tools of oppression. They hurt the interests of minority communities, poor people, and civil society at large. Is that sinking in yet, liberals?

    I can’t imagine that it is. After all, they insist that anybody who criticizes the government is a “kook” or worse; then they complain about the behavior of the police. Are they not aware that a police officer is a government worker?

    1. For liberals to get what they truly want, they need a powerful enforcement arm.

      1. That’s why they have to make this stuff about race.

    2. How you arrive at that conclusion is beyond me.

  6. Fuck cops. Fuck unions. And especially… fuck police unions.

    /thread

  7. As I read it, the union guy is saying that the cops, based upon the information that they had at the time, decided to kill the kid before they got to the scene. They were planning on shooting him in the back as he ran away, but he didn’t run away. So they shot him anyway.

  8. ICYMI yesterday, speaking of evil fucks and their enablers, don’t forget it’s a there’s a new reality out there.

    While there were obviously exceptions, this seemed to keep civilization on a relatively even keel. As long as the majority of the citizens were not only honest, but on the side of the cops, law enforcement could remain effective. It was the system which maintained the thin veneer of civilization upon which we all rely. But as Moran writes, the times they are a changing. When people brazenly march down the avenues of cities calling for the death of law enforcement officers and police are slaughtered in ambush scenarios, making temporary “heroes” of their killers in the media, the world becomes a more dangerous place.

    Sadly, this is not some hyperbolic warning about a possible future. The bell has already been rung and police are being hunted for sport. And we can’t reverse this tide by chasing individual criminals or hearing pontifications from politicians. If we want to restore and maintain order there needs to be a renewal of community support for the police, not just as individuals, but for what they represent.

    1. I saw that yesterday and I’m still laughing at the “police are being hunted for sport” line. Even if you consider context and hyperbole it’s still insane.

      1. I doubt any of them would give General Zaroff a decent challenge.

        1. Well, humans are only the most dangerous game because of their intelligence. When dealing with a group that seems to rely only on “instinct and fear” rather than intelligence, what challenge would that be over, say, hunting a deer?

          1. Actually, it would be kind of fun to put a team of cops and a team of twelve-year-olds against one another in a paintball contest.

            I’d make it 10 – 1 in favor of the kids.

            1. Of course the kids would win. 1) cops have notoriously bad aim 2) all the kids have to do is make it a running battle and half the cops would die of heart attacks and the other half would be too tired to evade being shot.

      2. I saw that yesterday and I’m still laughing at the “police are being hunted for sport” line.

        They are in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Day or two ago a cop was shot over north and from where they are not certain.

        1. One pig in North Minneapolis does not a trend make.

    2. Also, the copsucking in the comments to that article would make Tulpa blush.

      1. I honestly believe there must be some sort of organized effort to control the comments on those stories. The “voices” sound so similar over dozen and dozens of articles. Cops, retired cops, cop family members, something.

    3. Yeah, remember the media making “heroes” out of cop-killers?

      It’s clear that someone is living in a different reality.

      1. Well, it does exhibit some sympathy for the Free Mumia types.

        In other words, MSM sentiment is consistently wrong.

    4. Saw that yesterday and couldn’t beleiive the level of hyperbole. Copsucking at its finest. Hotair is usually better than that…

    5. Does it occur to these people how much the police and their mindless supporters themselves undermine broad public support for the police? When the argument from the cops is that the police must be obeyed unquestioningly and treated as heroes no matter how badly they fuck things up, even people generally inclined to favor law-and-order arguments start to see the police as self-serving and thuggish.

  9. If only we had unions to balance out corporate and public powers of the purse. Thank God for this balance of competing interests.

  10. Let’s assume for a moment that the cops were justified when Rice was shot.

    How the fuck does that explain their actions AFTER the shooting? They arrested his sister whose only infraction was to try to stop her brother from dying and literally let him bleed on the ground without offering any kind of aid. A random person walking by — who IIRC was a federal agent — gave the dying child aid minutes later. Don’t cops have an obligation to try to save lives, even if Rice was a dangerous criminal?

    1. Don’t cops have an obligation to try to save lives,

      Certainly not a legal obligation. Morally? Well, once you start down that road, you’re not going to be a cop for long, is my guess.

      1. I would think there is at the very least a strong civil rights case against the officer and the city since they let him die (if not for the actual shooting).

        But since that’s only money which the officer isn’t liable for that probably won’t actually prevent future abuses especially with the union pressuring the DA not to bring charges.

    2. and literally let him bleed on the ground without offering any kind of aid

      I get the impression sometimes that that is policy, especially when they are in the wrong. Dead murder victims can’t dispute the cops’ story.

    3. Live victims have a tendency to testify against you.

      Better this way.

      1. Or shorter FdA…what sarc said.

  11. Perception isn’t reality; reality is reality.

    Thank you. I’ve always taken the position that “perception is reality” only if you are lazy and stupid, or if you have serious mental health problems.

    No surprise to find a cop union goon parroting this line.

    1. I like to think that there is a substantial, objective reality. And that seems to be a very useful working assumption given that almost all sane people can agree on basic facts about the world. But perception is really all we can, um… perceive.

      Sorry. Philosophy major.

      1. My eyes literally glazed over while reading that. How do you types do that??

        1. Pot helps.

          1. Psychedelics help more.

            Mostly I just find contemplating what it is to be the kind of being that we are to be about the most interesting thing there is.
            It’s easy to think that our senses are just windows to the world, but that’s really not how things work.

            1. Next thing you know, we’ll have cop union goons pontificating on epistemology.

            2. Weed is one of the psychedelics.

        2. How do you types not?

      2. I like to think that there is a substantial, objective reality. And that seems to be a very useful working assumption given that almost all sane people can agree on basic facts about the world. But perception is really all we can, um… perceive.

        That is tautologically obvious. However, unless there is an underlying objective reality, you are stuck with solipsiam and nothing can be discussed or debated.

        1. There are ontologies besides strict materialism and solipsism.

          Yeah, it’s probably mostly mental masturbation. But who doesn’t love masturbation?

        2. Well, post-modern cop union goons can try persuade you to agree with their narrative rather than the narratives constructed by witnesses based upon their own observations and video recordings.

        3. solipsiam

  12. The video evidence — while ‘objective’ — is not necessarily reality either. Though I’d personally trust the objective perception of the electronic eye over self serving cops trying to excuse an unjustified killing based on their subjective perception of reality. But that’s just me.

  13. US citizens generally like a powerful and unfettered police force. It’s how we roll. It’s the standard “get tough on crime” platform that has won election after election across the fruited plain. It’s how we have a huge empire of prisons, dwarfing all others in the history of the world.
    US citizens like longer sentences in harsher conditions for less crime. When we read about an execution in China, we fill the message boards with admiration for how quick it was.
    …..which is why I quit referring to US citizens as “Americans” The word “American” has this poetic connotation of a free people in charge of their government… and, we are in charge… the police are no worse than we’ve asked for, or even insisted on.
    It’s that “free people” thing that we aren’t. We despise that stuff. If US citizens like freedom, it’s freedom for the police.

  14. He looks like Jesse Ventura’s even more retarded younger brother.

  15. There’s really no words to adequately express what a total, complete, unmitigated, abject cunt this lard ass piece of shit truly is.

    1. And yet you gave it one heck of a try.

  16. “He’s menacing. He’s 5-feet-7, 191 pounds.”

    Holy shit! That’s pretty much me, minus 20 pounds! I had no idea I’d ever be considered “menacing” and the thought that I could be if I fattened up is fucking awesome!

    1. Yeah, sounds like a fat kid, not an intimidating brute.

    2. Anyone who doesn’t immediately grovel at the feet of a police officer is menacing, and any force used to make them grovel is justified. And if they still refuse to grovel, then they must die.

      1. Yeah, but the main problem with this case is the cops didn’t even give him a chance to grovel. How unfair is that?

  17. Is that sinking in yet, liberals?

    When it comes to police unions liberals have nothing on right-wing conservatives and their lock-step support of professionalized brutality and its farm the F.O.P.

    Law-and-order is beloved by both socialists and conservatives.

  18. my friend’s aunt makes $62 an hour on the computer . She has been laid off for five months but last month her pay was $14934 just working on the computer for a few hours. Visit this site………
    ????? http://www.netpay20.com

    1. Hope your friend’s aunt doesn’t pick up the computer mouse as the cops bust in to investigate her ‘income source’.

  19. They acted based on what they knew at the time.

    It’s not your job to shoot people based on a perception. It’s your duty to ascertain the truth FIRST.

    Police have a moral responsibility to put themselves into harms way so as to prevent unnecessary harm to others. And that includes deliberately exposing themselves to risks in order to determine the TRUTH of a situation, instead of shooting first and figuring out if there was threat or not later.

    Sorry cops, but you do NOT get to put your safety first.
    You JOB is to risk your life, not protect it at the cost of innocent lives.

  20. And guess who is responsible for creating this force-protection mentality, which places the lives of officers above the safety of innocent 12 year old children?

    POLICE UNIONS.

    1. Police unions are solely interested in the safety and security of their members.

      Police unions will not be interested in public safety until the public starts paying dues.

      1. This is of course true.

        But if a union is demanding policies that are actively determintal to the police department’s ability to do it’s primary job – protecting public safety – then the union should be regarded as no longer legitimate. This is like if auto-unions demanded that their workers be allowed to sabotage a certain percentage of GMs cars by stealing the parts and selling them on the black market.
        Just because a particular demand is in your members’ interest, doesn’t mean that it is an allowable demand.

        Demanding that police officers have the right to shoot vaguely threatening people first, merely so as to minimize the risks to officers, is not a legitimate demand.

        The government, at that point, should simply be allowed to fire cops and hire non-union ones at that point.

        1. ” to the police department’s ability to do it’s primary job – protecting public safety”

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!

      2. Police unions will not be interested in public safety until the public starts paying dues

        Rice certainly paid his.

        1. No he didn’t, being shot is a privilege, not a due.

        2. The public pays all the dues that the police unions collect. And they still don’t give a shit about public safety.

      3. How ’bout if we agree to pay the $750 in cop union dues, and quit paying the $75,000 for the cop?

        Win, win!

  21. my friend’s aunt makes $62 an hour on the computer . She has been laid off for five months but last month her pay was $14934 just working on the computer for a few hours. Visit this site………
    ????? http://www.work-mill.com

  22. Police officers are just not ever willing to admit that any of their number ever makes a mistake. The Tamir Rice video makes it crystal clear that the officers involved approached the kid wrong, panicked and shot him without any justification whatsoever. I don’t know what this Loomis was smoking before he watched the video. The only thing not clear to me because of the poor, grainy quality of the video is if the child went to his waistband AT ALL before the cop shot him. When there’s a police shooting there should be an independent board which investigates the shooting and specially appointed prosecutors should present evidence to any grand jury. The police and regular prosecutors have proven the truth of the old adage not to let the fox guard the hen house.

  23. Why is it that union bosses always look like mob bosses?

    1. Because they don’t.

  24. What kind of policing would we have were we to exclude veterans from police work instead of funneling them into it?

    After Vietnam we incarcerated many, many of the returning troops. Now we find them jobs in police work.

    When trained killers are policemen, do you really expect them to have empathy and know how to relate to citizens without force and threats of violence?

    1. Thank you for saying that.

  25. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  26. The perception–and not the reality–is legally relevant given Graham v. Connor.

    Read up on some case law then call yourself a journalist.

  27. Is that sinking in yet, liberals?”

    What an unnecessary smear, considering this very site posted an article about a poll that showed that conservatives actually favor the police more: https://reason.com/poll/2014/10…..der-richer

  28. Hard to blame the union-loving liberals on this one. The POLICE caused this one. The union rep is just flapping his lips as usual.

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