After criticizing a Cleveland Browns player for wearing a shirt demanding justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford, the president of the Cleveland Patrolmen's Association called their deaths "justified." Rice, 12, and Crawford, 22, were both unarmed when they were shot and killed by police officers in separate incidents.
According to the Huffington Post, Jeffrey Follmer issued a highly-critical statement on Sunday targeting Brown's wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. Hawkins defended his actions yesterday, but Follmer refused to relent. During an appearance on MSNBC yesterday evening, he attempted to validate Rice and Crawford's deaths at the hands of police:
It's not a call for justice, they were justified. Cleveland police officers work with the Cleveland Browns hand-in-hand, and when he disrespects two of our police officers, he disrespects everybody else.
What's more, Follmer's lack of sympathy for the families of the deceased was alarming:
How about this? Listen to police officers commands, listen to what we tell you, and just stop. I think that eliminates a lot of problems. I have kids too, they know how to respect the law. They know what to do when a police officer comes up to them....I think the nation needs to realize that when we tell you to do something, do it, and if you're wrong you're wrong, and if you're right, then the courts will figure it out.
A grand jury elected not to indict the officers responsible for Crawford's death. A grand jury will also convene to decide whether the officer who killed Rice will be charged. Rice's death was ruled a homicide, and his family filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Cleveland, the officer who shot Rice, and his partner.
[via The Huffington Post]