November 29, 2014 10:00 am -

After the police shooting of Tamir Rice, the Northeast Ohio Media Group published a report claiming Rice’s father has a history of domestic violence. Kelly Conaboy at Gawker points out how this is an attempt to smear the family if not the boy, himself.


Although it never explains the significance of this fact, it is preceded by an update:

(Update: A line has been added to this story to give insight into the motivation to investigate the parents’ background)
That line—added after the fact, presumably due to questions about the article’s relevance—doesn’t give the insight promised: “People from across the region have been asking whether Rice grew up around violence.” Oh, have they?

Assuming it is true that “people from across the region” have been asking whether a child mistakenly killed by police while holding a toy “grew up around violence” (and there is obviously interest in the answer, seen in the incredible amount of social sharing), it is hard—impossible, really—to justify taking seriously, and acting upon, the clear search for blame in an innocent child.[su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

43 responses to Smear Campaign Begins Against 12-Year-Old Killed By Cops

  1. StoneyCurtisll November 29th, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Blame the parents of the dead 12 year old….
    Not the cop that shot and killed him…
    Where have we witnessed this scenario before?
    And the old “reaching for his waist band” seems to be the common thread in so many police shootings.

    • mynameisjohn November 29th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      While we will mostly likely never know exactly what happened with Mike Brown, in the video of Tamir Rice, you can tell that he pretty clearly did raise the bottom of his shirt. Bad move, but certainly not one that warrants being shot. I roundly blame the nitwit 911 caller who said the kid looked to be about 20 (really?), the dispatcher that called for a no-lights, no-siren response, and the cops that roared to a stop as close as possible to the kid, while screaming out the window at him as they rolled up. Because the human voice carries SO well over a roaring V-8 engine.

  2. Kim Serrahn November 29th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    It’s always easier to lay blame on someone else.

  3. mea_mark November 29th, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Right-wingers sure like to blame the people they hate for their hate. Never taking responsibility for their failings, always blaming someone, something, anything, never attempting to change their own actions, thoughts or deeds, to get a reasonable outcome. GOPee Dope all the way.

    • arc99 November 29th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      In the letter found after his suicide, the late Vince Foster said that in Washington DC, ruining people is considered sport.

      Thanks to the internet, right wingers have made that sport a nationwide endeavor.

      • Spirit of America November 29th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        Just the right wingers? The left has their ‘hit men’ as well….

        • arc99 November 29th, 2014 at 2:57 pm

          I see zero equivalence. David Brock’s Media Matters uses actual audio and video of the words and actions of the people they criticize. If you are aware of a single instance where MM was wrong on the facts, please provide the reference.

          That hardly compares to making up BS out of thin air to impugn the integrity of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice or anyone else.

          Cliven Bundy is a perfect illustration. Was he roundly excoriated in the left wing media? Yes. Was that criticism based on documented fact about what Mr. Bundy has said and done? Yes.

          As I said, I see zero equivalence between criticism with a solid factual basis and criticism based on innuendo, hyperbole and assumptions.

          • Spirit of America November 29th, 2014 at 4:04 pm

            We see it differently then. I keep forgetting that the ‘left’ has nothing but angels and the ‘right’ has nothing but demons…

          • jasperjava November 29th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

            You’re the master of false equivalence. “Oh, Hitler was so misunderstood! And not all the Jews he gassed were perfect little innocent angels, either!”

            Sorry to go all Godwin on you, but that’s the logical extension of your “both sides are the same” bull$hit. Both sides are NOT the same. The Right is FAR more guilty of twisting the truth, engaging in smear campaigns and dirty tricks, misinformation and disinformation, than the Left is.

            The fact that you brought up Media Matters shows that you are playing their game of spreading lies, hate, and ignorance.

          • Spirit of America November 29th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

            1st, I never said “”Oh, Hitler was so misunderstood! And not all the Jews he gassed were perfect little innocent angels, either!”
            You had to make that up to prove something?

            ” Both sides are NOT the same.”
            Yes, they are. They play the same games. Because 1 uses a blue baseball and the other uses a red baseball doesn’t mean diddley, it is still baseball.

            “The fact that you brought up Media Matters”.
            I didn’t, I brought up Davis Brock(he runs a LOT more than media matters)… the dems HATED him for years… now he’s doing dem work, same things though, admitted by him, read his stuff.

          • whatthe46 November 29th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

            Elizabeth Lauten, A staffer
            for a Republican Tennessee congressman and the former new media political
            director for the Republican National Committee, attacked the daughters of the
            president by basically calling them bar sl*ts and classless, while also attacking the
            president and Mrs. Obama, in an open letter to the girls. This coming from your right. How many open letters from the left have been targeted to any of the children of past repuked presidents? i’ll be waiting.

          • Spirit of America November 29th, 2014 at 7:25 pm

            Not my right, and attacks on kids are wrong, I’ve stated it often regardless of whose… palins come to mind..

  4. MaryJane Mccarthy James November 29th, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    This what our country has become. Cops are able to slaughter 12 year old,and get away with it.

  5. Janet D'Angelo Beardsley November 29th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    If that is fair game, then so is this..

  6. ExPFCWintergreen November 29th, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Conservatism, the ideology of choice for wife- and child-beaters everywhere: Why do you keep making me hit you?

  7. crc3 November 29th, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Very disheartening to see this happen again because of “The Secret Darkness of Grand Juries” and the ridiculous protection of police …

    • greenfloyd December 1st, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      It will be interesting to see if this case goes to trial, or if we’ll be subjected to another Grand Jury and the spotlight shifts to Cleveland OH.

  8. red-diaper-baby 1942 November 29th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Wouldn’t a more natural and logical question be, did the cop who shot him grow up around violence?

    These people are beneath contempt. But then, we know that already. Do they have to keep proving it, day after day? Enough already!

  9. Mainah November 29th, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    What does the boy’s father have to do with an officer shooting and killing the little boy? How is that relevant? Even if the child has seen violence in his life … what does that have to do with what the cop did?

    • mynameisjohn November 29th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Because when you’re white it’s “God’s plan” or an “unfortunate mistake.” When you’re black it’s “bad parenting” or “Black culture.”

  10. annaaurora November 29th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Do you know how many children grow up with horrible, horrible domestic violence and do not create that in their lives what’s the point. What’s the point. You jerks. I’d check the cop out and his back ground and I want that re-leased ASAP. They photo with 12 yr old hugging the cop in OR. that’s been on Twitter for a while now grew up with all sorts of abuse. He has already grown tired hanging on, he’ll continue because he’s got support but he already walks in empathies shoes and that’s what happened to me. Empathy is an amazing emotion but a hard one to carry as most of you know.

    • greenfloyd December 1st, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Too many kids exposed to violence at home and in their communities. Many grow-up and perpetuate it. That’s why it’s so important for the state to protect young kids with abusive and/or neglectful parents.

  11. Jones November 29th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    He wasn’t big and didn’t have the look of a demon…so they need to find something…anything.

  12. jasperjava November 29th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Tamir Rice and his family are guilty of being Black. That’s enough for the cops to shoot first and ask questions later.

  13. Pundit456 November 30th, 2014 at 9:22 am

    It is only natural for prudent adults to wonder what kind of parents would allow their twelve year old to carry a device, altered to make it less distinguishable from a lethal weapon, in his waistband as if it were real; and, fail to thoroughly advise him of the inherent danger when encountering any armed individual while carrying such a device.
    In all likelihood no call to the police would have been made if the caller had been able to recognize the device as a non-lethal weapon that posed no threat to others in the park.
    It is unclear whether the parents are trying to absolve themselves of responsibility or they are truly ignorant of their culpability
    Rice’s death was the culmination of a series of very bad decisions; not the least of which was his menacing behavior in randomly aiming in the direction of other people.

    • OldLefty November 30th, 2014 at 9:36 am

      These guns are marketed this way because that is what people buy.

      I think more accurately; it is unclear whether the police and the gun industry are trying to absolve THEMSELVES of responsibility or they are truly ignorant of their culpability

      • Pundit456 November 30th, 2014 at 8:32 pm

        I this was supposed to be a “toy” so would it not be the “toy industry”?
        Then, are you saying they violated the law and removed the toy markings and then gave it to him; without parental consent?

        • OldLefty November 30th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

          Ohio state Rep. Alicia Reece was planning to introduce legislation requiring​​​​​ that type of gun to look more clearly like a toy.

          She was prompted by a similar incident in Ohio a few months earlier, in which 22-year-old John Crawford III was shot by a cop in a Wal-Mart because he was holding a BB gun mistaken for a more powerful rifle. A representative from Crawford’s family reached out to Reece, citing a similar proposal recently passed in California.

          “The father was concerned – he wanted to make sure that no other family would go through what his family had gone through,” says Reece, a Democrat. “This is one major first step in a preventative, common-sense way. … These imitation guns are looking more and more realistic.”

          A federal statute dating back to 1988 requires that toy guns either be painted a bright color, be translucent or have an orange ring transfixed to the barrel, but specifically exempts “traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air.”

          • Pundit456 December 1st, 2014 at 7:31 pm

            More than a toy; less than a lethal weapon. Marking it inaccurately portends total safety while not marking it can end in tragedy.
            I do not profess to know the answer for the industry but not buying one for your twelve year old will help keep him or her alive.

          • OldLefty December 1st, 2014 at 9:07 pm

            And having police trained better with children would help as well. They have military gear, they could not have protection for a 12 year old about whom the 9/11 caller said, “The guy keeps pulling it out,” the 911 caller said. “It’s probably fake, but you know what, he’s scaring the (expletive) out of (inaudible). … He’s sitting on the swing right now, but he keeps pulling it in and out of his pants and pointing it at people. Probably a juvenile, you know? … I don’t know if it’s real or not, you know?”..
            And no medical treatment? No CPR?

    • Carla Akins November 30th, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Actually it has nothing to do with the parents, and everything to do with whether the officer’s will held responsible or even disciplined for their response. Any suspect, regardless of age has to be given sufficient time to respond to a command – these officers did not.

      • Pundit456 November 30th, 2014 at 8:39 pm

        While when our children were twelve we knew where they were what they were doing and who they were doing it with primarily because at least one of us was with them. We call it responsible parenting which is apparently regarded as passe these days.

        • Carla Akins November 30th, 2014 at 9:18 pm

          I think you missed my point. The only reason for Law Enforcement to bring it up and run the parents criminal histories in the media is to deflect responsibility. I knew where my kids were too – and they still pulled crap. However, my kids are white and were never automatically assumed to be guilty, carrying a weapon or referred to as a thug.

          Law enforcement has a responsibility to protect and serve, and that includes this boy. The incident report clearly is not backed up by the video, showing the officer began firing within the seconds of giving the command. There was no attempt to verify the situation or even allow him to comply – none of which has anything to do with how he was parented, or not.

          • Pundit456 December 1st, 2014 at 7:24 pm

            You are probably correct about their motivation but it does not diminish its relevance.
            Also, it seems disingenuous for you to dismiss the boy’s behavior that prompted the call to police and focus on two seconds precipitated by what had come before; including parenting

          • Carla Akins December 1st, 2014 at 8:03 pm

            And if his parents had been PTA presidents and mentors at the local church would you still be making that claim – or only because law enforcement leaked the parents criminal history to the press?

          • Pundit456 December 1st, 2014 at 9:04 pm

            Oh Please. The human rights campaign founder has been charged with raping a fifteen year old boy; titles mean nothing.
            Responsible parenting occurs between the parent and the child.

        • whatthe46 November 30th, 2014 at 9:48 pm

          When I was 12 I played in the parks or the
          courtyard at a friends house or even on the school grounds when it was thesummertime. I may have said we’re going
          to the school and an hr. later I may be at the park with my friends not letting anyone know where I was, as it was safe not to have parents with you everywhere you went. We were kids and
          all over the neighborhood. There was no cell phones back then. We played all day long only to run in for water or when we were hungry. That didn’t make my parents irresponsible or
          bad parents. The least of our worries
          were whether or not some fk’n cop would murder us just for being kids.

          • Pundit456 December 1st, 2014 at 7:17 pm

            I, too, grew up doing a similar time; my children did not have that luxury; and their children, should they choose to have them, will face an even more dangerous world.

        • secondlook December 1st, 2014 at 1:49 am

          Well aren’t you special? News flash, your kids pull junk when even you aren’t looking.

          • whatthe46 December 1st, 2014 at 2:29 am

            newsflash… i think he’s lying or exaggerating.

          • Pundit456 December 1st, 2014 at 7:12 pm

            My children are now adults and alive; and one of them is on a first name basis with some members of local law enforcement.

      • greenfloyd December 1st, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        This information does not change the circumstances of this poor kid’s death at the hands of law enforcement. It was bound to come out anyway.

  14. greenfloyd December 1st, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Smear, or not, Cleveland[dot]com article confirms how badly we failed this poor kid. It seems clear neither this father, or mother, were fit parents and the state knew it yet turned a blind-eye. Just as he died, Tamir Rice didn’t have a chance from the very beginning.
    I hope as the media continues to dig they’ll also come up with the identity of whoever it was that gave or sold him that damn gun.