City Of Cleveland Blames 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice For His Own Shooting Death By Cops
Incredibly, the City of Cleveland responded on Friday to a lawsuit filed by the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by saying he was responsible for his own demise. The boy was shot dead by cops while he held a pellet gun.
The city, in its response, wrote that Tamir’s death on Nov. 22 and all of the injuries his family claims in the suit “were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant.” It also says that the 12-year-old’s shooting death was caused “by the failure … to exercise due care to avoid injury.”
Rice family attorney Benjamin Crump had choice words for the city’s claim when he appeared on “NewsOne Now” to discuss Cleveland’s response to the Rice family lawsuit.
Crump told guest host Armstrong Williams there was a “Failure in training, supervision, regulation, but also in hiring.”
“Should this police officer ever had been hired by the city of Cleveland. Just three months prior, he [Police Officer Timothy Loehmann] was forced to resign from another police department that said, ‘He was unfit to be trained, he was unfit to be a police officer,” said Crump.
He added Officer Loehmann had “certain problems he was dealing with at the Independence City Police Department and his superior officer said that after going through tests, after working with him, ‘We have decided that he is unfit to be a police officer, he is untrainable.’”
“NewsOne Now” panelist Angela Rye of Impact Strategies asked Crump, “At what point do you move beyond expecting that we will be able to overcome and fight back and actually win against a case where another one of our children is lost at the hands of police, what do we have to really change in this country?”
Crump responded, “ … the face of police excessive force is the face of a 12-year-old kid … I think the young people framed the issue so well, with Mike Brown they said, ‘Hands up,’ with Trayvon, ‘I am Trayvon,’”
“I don’t know how they will frame this to make it just so clear that there is something wrong here,” said Attorney Crump.
Dr. Chandra Gill Talks ‘Black Genes-Black Genius’
Dr. Chandra Gill, educator, author, founder and CEO of Blackademically Speaking®,oined “NewsOne Now” guest host Armstrong Williams to discuss her new book, “Black Genes-Black Genius.”
Dr. Gill’s latest book is a motivational handbook aimed at inspiring the spirit, igniting intelligence and empower Black youth everywhere. She also shared her views on educating contemporary African American youth.
Dr. Gill told Williams that learning is much more than a concept; it’s “a very valuable experience.”
“We have too many school districts throughout the nation and too many teachers who struggle through the lens of teaching ethicacy, cultural competence, but when you finally get through all that language, our students are not learning at the rate that they can learn.”
Dr. Gill also expressed some frustration at the educational system’s approach to dealing with African American students.
“Everybody is talking about Black children,” said Gill, “but who is talking to them? Who is speaking to them in a language that they understand and who is helping them to be motivated in the essence of learning?
She continued, “In this climate of post-racial discussion, people talk about the lens of Dr. King and when he is talking about the content of character and the empirical question becomes, ‘How can we build on the content of a character when the character of African American students is not reflected in the culture of the curriculum that they have in schools?’”
Gill explained to Armstrong that she looked at various statistics to find that less than three percent of today’s teachers are African American men and wonders if Black students are not inspired to learn because they don’t see educators who look like them.
She also questioned if professionals and teachers have the creativity to “teach our children how they need to be taught and what they need to be taught” as well as get past the tired discussion that revolves around Black children cannot learn.
She quoted Johnnetta B. Cole, anthropologist, educator and former president of Spellman College, saying, “She’s met many teachers that cannot teach, she’s yet to meet a student that cannot learn.”
‘Beyond the Lights’ Director Dishes On DVD Release, Opposition From Hollywood
The critically acclaimed movie “Beyond The Lights” is now out on DVD/Blue Ray. On Monday, the film’s director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, joined “NewsOne Now” guest host Armstrong Williams to discuss the film and the DVD release.
Bythewood told Armstrong that she is “inspired by and creating characters that have real lives, real humanity, real conflict.”
“The things that are keeping them apart feel real as opposed to fantasy and I think that allows an audience to go in and really put themselves into the characters,” Bythewood said.
Bythewood explained that there are some deleted scenes from the movie that were added to the DVD/Blue Ray release. “During the editing process it was really about just cutting away the stuff you didn’t need because it was all there in their looks to each other.”
“The great thing about doing a love story, especially if you have two actors like GuGu and Nate, who play Noni and Kav, when their chemistry is so strong you realize how little dialogue you really need.”
Armstrong and Bythewood also discussed some of the challenges with getting films to the big screen during the chat on “NewsOne Now.”
“There is no secret to getting a film on the big screen,” Bythewood said. “It’s passion and it’s fight.” She credited her growing up as an athlete as having influenced who she is as a filmmaker and “taught her fight from an early age.”
“Talent is one thing, but it is very tough in this industry,” she said.
Bythewood said, “That is not a secret, especially for filmmakers of color who are making films with people of color . It’s a harder fight but if you are passionate about your material it gets you past those no’s and you just remember you need one yes.”
When asked about the opposition she faced from movie studios in bringing the movie to the big screen and if some of the push back was racist in nature, Bythewood said, “There were different fights at different times at different studios.”
“Some studios did not want two people of color in the lead. They said, ‘Could you make the male lead White?’ And that, I would say, is racism,” said Bythewood.
“Others didn’t like the suicide attempt at the beginning of the film. They felt it made the film too dark and that the audience could not get past it even though in retrospect now when people see the film, that is what draws them into these two characters.”
Bythewood also cited some studios not wanted to cast “two people who were not stars.”
“But the issue is for me, it’s not about the stars, it’s about who is best for the role, and these two were best for the role.”
“The issue with Hollywood there is no farm system for young Black actors. The list for that…in this age range for white actors is pages and pages long,” she said.
It is safe to assume by the success of “Beyond The Lights” that the “fight” in Gina Prince-Bythewood paid off as she has not only redefined how to cast leads in feature films and produced a new classic for movie lovers to enjoy for years to come.
Be sure to pick up your copy of “Beyond the Lights,” now available on DVD and Blue Ray.
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.