Creative solutions in longstanding racial issues are needed. The American modern judicial system and policing practices are increasingly in the news. The focus on shootings by police of people of color has drawn worldwide attention as have the incarceration statistics showing at a minimum that in the 30% of the American population made up by people of color there are found 60% of current prison populations. Native Americans are seldom singled out in statistics beyond the suicide rate and victim of crime figures. These numbers are worse than among any other American population. http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/otj/docs/american_indians_and_crime.pdf
There is hope in the efforts of those addressing the violence against youth of color and working with the Black Lives Matter coalitions as well as those lawyers and judges willing to use every tool available to them creatively confront the problem of modern 21st century American racism. It is impossible to know what will work, what might work best in one situation and possibly cause highly negative unexpected consequences in others. Life is not a once size fits all. As this is written the actions of the people in Ohio to requesting a Cleveland Municipal Judge to issue arrest warrants for Cleveland police Officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann in the shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice.
The tragedy of Tamir Rice’s death in Cleveland, Ohio can, if the men and women in positions of responsibility in Cleveland and nationwide face the horror fully, find their courage to look at the sorrow of this needless death and choose, finally, the path of change. It is time for everyone to do the right thing, move the police, the community, the city and the country, each and every one of us forward into change. Change is always a challenge but the degree of this challenge is vastly overrated. When good, strong and loving people are determined and caring the past has clearly shown we are capable of incredible, amazing and very powerful actions. Our children deserve our courage and our determination. It is time to confront racism in all its forms, it is time to change and it can begin in you, in Cleveland, today.