Cities Unite for Nationwide Vigil for Tamir Rice and children wrongfully killed by law enforcement. A Call for Law Enforcement Change.
Chicago –(ENEWSPF)—February 19, 2015. On Sunday, February 22, 2015, The Coalition Against Police Violence, in partnership with independent organizers across the United States, will hold #ShedLight Vigils in peaceful solidarity to honor the life of Tamir Rice and other children killed by the national epidemic of police violence. In Chicago, people from all walks of life will gather at 6:00 PM for a Candlelight Vigil at the Village Leadership Academy, 1001 W. Roosevelt Road.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/908495065849785/
The nationwide vigil marks three months from the date on which 12-year-old Tamir was gunned down by Officer Timothy Loehmann in Cleveland, Ohio. This shooting was especially tragic considering prior to killing Tamir, Loehmann was deemed “unfit for duty” and noted as “emotionally unstable” in handling a firearm by a former supervisor. Loehmann shot Tamir within two seconds of arriving at the scene. After shooting Tamir, Loehmann and his partner forcibly detained Tamir’s 14-year-old grieving sister. The officers, who described Tamir as a 20-year-old Black male, also failed to administer first aid as Tamir lay dying on the ground.
“The Justice Department’s civil rights investigation into the use of force by the Cleveland Division of Police has found a pattern or practice of unreasonable and unnecessary use of force.” Sadly, this is a pervasive trend across the United States. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, “Black boys as young as ten may not be viewed in the same light of childhood innocence as their white peers, but are instead more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as guilty, and face police violence if accused of a crime…” (emphasis added). Moreover, a Black teen is 21 more times likely to be shot by police than a White teen.
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, found that every 28 hours a Black man, woman, or child is killed by a police officer, security guard, or self-appointed vigilante. This number does not include the hundreds or thousands of incidents which go unreported each year, nor does it account for other non-Black men, women, and children who suffer the consequences of the unreasonable and unnecessary use of force by police.
In coordination with the victims’ families, the vigil’s purpose is to the bring awareness to Tamir’s innocence, as well as the many other young victims killed unnecessarily by law enforcement. The vigil also aims to encourage healing and to remember victims of a systemic culture of violence that results in disproportionate loss of Black and Brown lives. It honors bereaved families and communities united to dismantle a broken and biased criminal justice system.
The #ShedLight vigils will occur in 20 cities across the nation including Boston, Chicago, San Diego, New York City, Denver, Milwaukee, and Cleveland. Each vigil will feature a 4 minute moment of silence to remind the nation of the more than 4 minutes Tamir went without medical attention.
Organized in Partnership With:
About Black Lives Matter Chicago:
Black Lives Matter Chicago is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black peoples’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. Our priorities are to amplify our collective knowledge and applied practices toward abolishing anti-Blackness, and to honor the organizing and mobilization put forth by various Chicago based organizations, collectives, projects and individuals within the expansive, intersectional Black Lives Matter network.
About the Coalition Against Police Violence:
The Coalition Against Police Violence’s mission is to unite and strengthen diverse individuals and organizations fighting to confront and eradicate systemic injustice and state-sanctioned violence. Nationwide 4 Mile Marches were held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 19, 2015, in 30 cities nationwide and in Canada to honor the victims of police violence and demand police reform. Since then, the 4 Mile March has become a “Call to Action” for nationwide events.