Open carry laws didn’t stop cops from killing Tamir Rice or John Crawford
Yesterday a grand jury refused to indict the police officer involved in the killing of Tamir Rice, because the prosecutor threw the case to help his political career. But Ohio is an open carry state… Cenk Uygur, host of the The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
“Last year, police officers in Ohio shot and killed John Crawford in a Walmart in Beavercreek, and, in a separate shooting, 12-year-old Tamir Rice outside of a Cleveland recreation center, largely on the belief that Crawford and Rice were carrying real guns. Grand juries have now backed up the officers, deciding to file no criminal charges against the cops involved in the two police shootings.
Crawford and Rice were carrying toy weapons, but the killings have sparked questions about why police were allowed to shoot two people for holding what appeared to be actual guns in a state where it is legal to openly carry them.
But legal experts say that open carry laws and the laws that govern police use of force don’t really have much to do with each other. Here’s why…
However, the open carry laws have little to do with whether a police shooting is justified, experts say. As attorney and gun rights advocate David Kopel explained, police officers wouldn’t be allowed to shoot someone just because he’s wielding a gun where open carry is a legal. Under the two Supreme Court decisions — Tennessee vs. Garner and Graham v. Connor — that dictate police use of force, officers must show that they had an objectively reasonable belief that a suspect was a threat up to the moment the last bullet was fired. ”*