Cleveland cops demand apology from Browns over player’s Tamir Rice jersey

Remember that time some Detroit Rams players held a silent protest over Officer Darren Wilson not being indicted for killing Michael Brown? And the Detroit cops demanded an apology, insinuating that football players were too stupid to understand why killing an unarmed black man is totally fine? And then they were widely mocked across the nation, and the black cops in Detroit released their own statement saying their views were not represented by that press release and that they supported the right of players to protest?

Apparently the Cleveland police force does not.

This Sunday, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins became the latest athlete to engage in an on-field silent protest against police shootings of unarmed black men and children when he walked out onto the field wearing a jersey reading “Justice for Tamir Rice — John Crawford.”

Tamir Rice was the 12-year-old kid shot by police for playing with a toy gun, and John Crawford was the 22-year-old man gunned down by police in an Ohio Walmart for picking up BB gun that was for sale and carrying it around the store as one does when they are planning to buy something. The officers in the Crawford case were–naturally–not indicted. On Friday, a medical examiner ruled Rice’s death a homicide.

Jeff Follmer, the Cleveland Police Patrolman Union President issued a statement to Cleveland’s ABC 5 station.

It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.

The shooting of both these men was caught on camera. Who are you going to believe, Andrew Hawkins? Jeff Follmer or your lying eyes? Clearly, playing football prevents a human person from looking at a videotape of police gunning down a 12 year-old boy playing in a park, and then being too busy preserving their crime scene to give the kid any medical attention for several minutes and making a reasonable judgment about whether or not that was a good thing or a bad thing. I suppose one has to be a cop in order to determine all the nuance involved in shooting a 12 year-old boy dead and then not bothering to try to give him CPR or stop him from hemorrhaging all over the place.

Call me crazy, but I’d hope everyone in this country at least knows enough about the law to see that was a poor idea.

Of course, I’m sure this goes both ways. I’m sure the Cleveland police never have opinions on football, because how could they possibly know if something was a good play or not without being a professional football player, right?
[ThinkProgress]