The commemoration of the Holy Innocents, the children murdered by Herod’s order according to the Gospel of Matthew, falls on December 28th. The coincidence of the date has not escaped the observation of many commentators on the decision of prosecutors and a grand jury not to indict police officers for the death in November 2014 of twelve-year-old Tamir Rice in a Cleveland park.
A selection of their Tweets:
The Rev. Wil Gafney blogged “The Slaughter of the Innocents: A Lament for Tamir”
We are a nation that kills children. We are a nation whose protectors do not protect children. We are a nation whose justice system does not render justice for children.
We failed Tamir. We failed Ayanna. We failed the children of Newtown. We failed every child shot since Newtown. We failed the multitudes of children whose names we will never know in spite of the proliferation of body cameras.
We do not have the excuse of being held in thrall by a tyrant like Herod with an army at his disposal. We have the power of our votes and our voices. What we do not have is collective will. We face a different kind of tyranny with a different kind of army.
Read Gafney’s blog post here.
Tamir Rice died after being shot by a police officer in November, 2014. According to the Guardian, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty
argued that Tamir’s death was caused by a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day” but there was no evidence of criminal misconduct by police. The two officers believed they were responding to a “potential active shooter situation” and had not been provided with crucial details of a 911 call reporting that Rice was probably a juvenile with a gun that was “probably fake”, McGinty said.
The family and supporters of Tamir Rice have said that they were disappointed but not surprised by the conclusion of the investigation, which was announced at short notice yesterday afternoon.