Calls for peace, justice continue after police-involved shooting of Tamir Rice

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Calls for peace and justice continue across Cleveland, after police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice last weekend.

Several groups gathered Friday to make their voices heard.

A few dozen residents gathered at the Trinity Outreach Ministries Church of God in Christ in Cleveland to voice their concerns. Wednesday, Cleveland police released surveillance video of the incident.

"This is a hate crime, that hurt me to my heart, I had to pull back, I couldn't take it," said resident Pierre Napier.

"Can we tolerate a world where the lives of black people mean nothing?...it's that basic," said another resident.

"God, we know there is a great deal of unrest in the community, but God this is why we call upon you because you are a God that can make things better," prayed pastor Dr. Andrew Clark.

Saturday afternoon, Cleveland police officers were called to Cudell Recreation Center on the city's west side to reports of a male pointing a gun at people.

Police say less than two seconds after pulling up, one of the officers shot and killed Tamir after he says the child pulled a gun from his waistband. Investigators say the dispatcher never told officers the 911 caller thought the suspect could be a juvenile and that the gun might have been a fake.

Rice was found with an airsoft gun.

"If a black person reaches for something, their knee jerk response now is to shoot," said one resident.

"I've been on the job almost 30 years, and I've never had to shoot anybody, and I've been out there," Cleveland police Lieutenant Benjamin Gaba told the crowd.

Gaba did not speak specifically about the shooting of Tamir, but says officers never want to fire their weapon.

"I don't think guys are going out to just try to shoot somebody. I don't think anybody on the police department's doing that," Gaba said.

Earlier Friday afternoon, a forum was held at Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church. College students discussed Rice's shooting.

"If you thought he was a grown man, then you just completely violated his rights, and you won't accept us being armed, legal or illegal,” said one student.

Both officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave.

Read more here.

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