It would also help if there were “How to not act like a threat to the public in such a manner that the responding officers might think they’re rolling up on a potential mass shooter and act accordingly” classes offered in the local schools.
I’m not saying the police are innocent in this, but Tamir Rice’s behavior was hardly innocent, either. This isn’t a hard concept: If you point a firearm - or object that sufficiently resembles a firearm - at someone in a park, you have just become a threat to the public and will be treated as though that object was a real firearm when the police respond until they can safely determine otherwise.
Watch the video. When the cops pull up, he is advancing on their car and reaching for something in his waistband. That alone is How-to-get-shot 101. Think about the officer’s point of view: A call has come in that someone is indiscriminately pointing a handgun at people in a park. As they pull up, the person matching the description they’ve been given starts walking toward their cars and is reaching for something concealed in his clothing. Their cars are not bulletproof. They have less than 5 seconds to decide how to respond to this.
I feel sympathy for all involved, but this isn’t some massive miscarriage of justice, evidence of institutionalized racism, or part of some pogrom to eliminate young black men. This is a horrible situation brought on by one 12-year-old boy acting stupid and two police officers who faced a split-second life-or-death decision. The officers aren’t innocent, but they’re not guilty of murder. Tamir isn’t guilty, but he wasn’t just innocently playing in the park.