Jeffrey Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, recently claimed that the police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was justified.
Follmer appeared on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” last night to discuss his outrage over Cleveland Browns player Andrew Hawkins’ call for justice in the case of Rice, noted Crooks and Liars (video below).
“He doesn’t have the clear view of the police conduct,” Follmer said. “He’s calling for justice on two officers that were called to do their job with a male that had a gun inside a park that they had to defend themselves and use deadly force on him.
“So it’s not a call for justice. They were justified. And Cleveland police officers work with the Cleveland Browns hand-in-hand, and when he disrespects two of our officers, he's disrespecting everybody else.”
However, in reality, Rice was not armed with a real gun, but rather a toy gun. Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice within two seconds of arriving in the park, noted Vox. The officers’ lives were never in any danger.
ABC News reports that Hawkins responded to the union's call for an apology:
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I was taught that justice is a right that every American should have. Also, justice should be the goal of every American. I think that’s what makes this country. To me, justice means the innocent should be found innocent. It means that those who do wrong should get their due punishment. Ultimately, it means fair treatment. So a call for justice shouldn’t offend or disrespect anybody. A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology.