Cleveland Police Demand Apology For Andrew Hawkins’ Protest Of Rice And Crawford Deaths

The union for the Cleveland police demanded an apology from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins after he walked onto the field with a t-shirt that read “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford” over his jersey.

Rice was the 12-year-old who Cleveland police shot in November after they received calls that he was playing with a toy gun in a park near his home; Crawford was killed by police in August in an Ohio Walmart while holding an air gun. Both were black.

TYT video.

More:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/12033545/andrew-hawkins-cleveland-browns-says-t-shirt-warrant-apology-police

2 thoughts on “Cleveland Police Demand Apology For Andrew Hawkins’ Protest Of Rice And Crawford Deaths

  1. The police union guy made an issue about “…if a policeman tells you to do something, you better do it,” suggesting if you didn’t comply,. lethal force was justifiable, regardless of the “crime” or suspicions they had about a person they detained for any reason.

    Hawkins noted that when black men have “the talk” with their sons, that’s what they tell them: don’t resist police orders, comply, do what they say. Hawkins then noted even when black men (or boys mistaken for men) do comply they still get shot, and he named examples. He noted he wasn’t trying to be anti-police, just wanted to voice his fears, to protest unfairness in the justice system and police behavior toward blacks, men in particular, in this country.

    He was in near-tears talking about his fear that his son might suffer the same fate as Tamir Rice some day, and how that fear guided his decision to wear the protest shirt that day.

    The union guy was upset that anyone would question the shootings, which a grand jury judged “justified” in the Crawford episode and some other authority (I don’t recall the Rice justification) judged “justified” in the Rice episode,
    never mind that in both instances, the videos showed over-reaction to non-threatening behavior by the victims.

    The union guy’s remark that the Cleveland police provide security at Browns games prompted the interviewer to ask if that meant that if Hawkins failed to apologize, the Cleveland police would provide less security. The union guy hemmed and hawed and said of course it wouldn’t change the level of service the police gave, but you got the idea that it did register with him that Hawkins was within his Constitutional rights to express his opinion, even in this way and that perhaps the police needed to be more circumspect about how they operate in Cleveland and across the country.

    The Cleveland police, in particular, might give pause considering the Department of Justice is starting its second investigation of that department for just this sort of business toward minorities in the city.

    As the son of a policeman, I know they can think of themselves as infallible in the execution of their jobs, but a good officer learns to be circumspect and open-minded to other people’s point of view. I think the union guy failed in this respect, no matter how sincere his concern.

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