For several minutes in Cleveland’s Public Square on Tuesday, a man wearing a shirt referencing Tamir Rice brandished bright green plastic toy guns and challenged police officers to shoot him as they had the 12-year-old boy.
Police officers initially closely surrounded the man, but eventually backed off when it became apparent that their presence was increasingly agitating him. The officers remained in the area, and at one point blocked what appeared to be a Republican delegate from engaging the man in heated rhetoric.
The man, who declined repeated requests to identify himself to journalists, at one point pulled his 4-year-old child into the center of the crowd, and then swore that if the police killed his son, he’d kill police.
In November 2014, Tamir was playing with a plastic toy gun when he was killed by a Cleveland police officer responding to a call of someone in a city park brandishing what appeared to be a toy gun. A grand jury later declined to indict the officer Tamir’s death.
In Public Square, the protester’s hoarse voice competed with the amplified voice of a nearby group of what appeared to be religious fundamentalists and anti-Muslim protesters. That group criticized people for having sex out of wedlock, for watching pornography, and even called out several men walking around without shirts. The group has been present for the last several days, wandering the streets with signs declaring that Jesus will punish all sinners and that Muslims should to be executed.
Source: USA Today | Trevor Hughes