Let’s be clear here — abuse of force by the police is a tragedy.
A similar scenario unfolded in California ( http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/calif-cops-shoot-13-year-old-boy-armed-toy-gun-dead-article-1.1494144 ).
While it is possible to cast a race-lens on abuse of force by police, it doesn’t help us solve the problem. Even if there is a statistical difference by race, it only means that by addressing the root cause (abuse of force by police), the race with the most current impact will enjoy the biggest benefit from better use of force policies.
Tamir Rice died because we have a militarized police with use of force rules that too often err on the side of “shoot first”. While I understand that every police officer wants to go home safe at night, we can, and should, improve the engagement rules for police officers to keep our civilians safer. Casting this as an issue of personal, intrinsic racism stops us from addressing the systemic use of force issue that is truly a danger to us all.