Days after Betty Shelby was acquitted of first degree manslaughter of unarmed Black motorist Terence Crutcher, another jury has refused to give a Black family justice. On Friday a Columbus, Ohio, grand jury found that the 2016 shooting death of 13-year-old Tyre King was “justified” and voted to not pursue any criminal charges against Police officer Bryan Mason.
Mason claimed that he shot King as he was responding to reports of an armed robbery by a group of teenagers. Mason says that as he approached King, the teen pulled out a BB gun (that looked like a real firearm), so he then opened fire.
According to 10TV.com the Columbus City Council was disappointed with the grand jury’s results:
“Today’s grand jury decision is a sad and unfortunate reminder that a child has died in our community. While we are grateful for the grand jury’s service and for the community’s patience awaiting these results, the Council is also deeply reflective on how we must aggressively strive to end violence in our community and continue to improve the relationship between the people of Columbus and the criminal justice system.Increased openness and transparency is an important first step. That’s why, whenever possible, police investigations and grand jury proceedings must be available to the public. Anytime a child dies it is a tragic event, and this time is no different. The Columbus City Council members pray for all those who are involved and, as always, will work hard to do our parts to support and create initiatives that build trust with our police and reduces violence in Columbus.”
The King family also released their own statement calling out the clear racial bias by local police:
“The family of Tyre King raised clear issues of bias and prejudice with the Columbus Division of Police and with the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. From the family’s perspective, the Prosecutor’s office relied on the Columbus Division of Police investigation exclusively and showed a deliberate failure to investigate Officer Bryan Mason’s actions with the same vigor that they attacked witness credibility.
Enough is enough. The lack of regard for a true investigation into the police-involved shooting of a 13-year-old child, who was according to multiple accounts and physical evidence running away, is numbing. The lack of consideration given to pursuing accountability is troubling, if not an outright violation of Tyre’s constitutional rights.
Although the grand jury did not indict Officer Mason, this does not mean that he did not commit a wrong against Tyre and against Tyre’s family.”
As we previously reported, an autopsy conducted by independent medical examiner Dr. Franciso Diaz revealed King was most likely killed while running away from police officers.
“Based on the location and the direction of the wound paths, it is more likely than not that Tyre King was in the process of running away from the shooter or shooters when he suffered all three gunshot wounds,” Diaz said as he explained his report findings that concluded that they were wounds in his head and torso.
King’s case and disappointing outcome spark painful memories of the 2014 death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Just like in Mason’s case, a grand jury in 2015 also decided no one was responsible for the death of the young boy who was shot while holding a toy gun in a Cleveland park.
No justice; no peace.