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America 2019

Tamir Rice
Former 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, seen here in 2008, has received a presidential pardon over the killing of an Iraqi detainee.

In the spring of 2008, former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna was in Iraq, where he and his platoon were charged with transporting for release a suspect named Ali Mansur Mohamed. Military intelligence thought Mansur was linked to a recent IED attack which killed two American soldiers, but, lacking evidence to tie him to terrorism after days of questioning, they had to let him go. 

Behenna did not find that satisfactory, and his platoon stopped at a bridge for some questioning of their own. With another soldier, Behenna blindfolded Mansur and cut off all his clothes with a knife. They removed his handcuffs. Then Behenna shot him twice, before allegedly ordering the other soldier to use a grenade to disfigure his body. Though he’d claim to have acted in self-defense, Behenna was court-martialed and convicted of unpremeditated murder [ed: What’s premeditated murder, writing a novel about it first?] in a combat zone. He was initially sentenced to 25 years in prison but served only five. He was released on parole in 2014 and, on Monday, granted a full pardon by President Trump.

Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Ohio:

The former Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice has been hired by a police department in a small Ohio village.
The Times Leader reports Bellaire’s police chief Richard Flanagan confirmed Friday he hired Timothy Loehmann as a part-time officer.

The officer, who is white, was fired last year for reasons not related to Rice’s death. He was deemed “unfit for duty” and dismissed for giving false information on his job application to the Cleveland Division of Police.

In November 2014, Loehmann and his then-partner, Frank Garmback, responded to a 911 call that reported a possible man waving a gun at a recreation center in Cleveland. When the officers arrived they encountered Rice, which is when Loehmann, citing credible fear, jumped out of his patrol car and fired his service weapon twice.

In late 2015, the Grand Jury declined to indict both officers on criminal charges. This decision came after an expert review of video of the incident showed that Rice had his hands in his pocket, and was playing with a pellet gun.

I don’t even know what to say.

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