The reactions of Cleveland police and city officials to the public protests of death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at the hands of a police officer showed they might have learned something watching their counterparts’ reaction to the August shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Cleveland officers took a hands-off approach when protestors Monday evening flooded Public Square and shut down a freeway during rush hour. The night of protests ended with no arrests or physical altercations among police or protestors, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
This is in stark contrast to the vigil that turned violent the day after Brown Michael was killed in Ferguson, when protestors vandalized and looted and more than two dozen were arrested. Citizens in both cities rallied around the events as a way to speak out about tension caused by race relations between police and the people they serve, but the notably calmer reaction in Cleveland shows police there may have learned from Ferguson’s mistakes. With the Tamir shooting still fresh in minds of Cleveland citizens, and with the release of a surveillance video that showed the shooting, there’s no way to predict how the public will react to the video. (Police waited four minutes to deliver first aid to Rice after a rookie officer shot the 12-year-old boy Saturday outside a recreation center. Patrolman Timothy Loehmann shot Rice twice at point-blank range immediately after the officer sprung from the passenger seat of a moving police cruiser that skid to a stop just feet from the boy, the video shows.)