The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has placed a Cleveland school officer on paid leave after calling Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, a “stupid b***h” on Facebook.
Matt Cicero, 43, was placed on administrative leave on Monday, January 4, 2016 after his post, which criticized the 12-year-old’s mother and made insensitive remarks about the shooting. The Facebook post was placed online two days after Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty stated that a grand jury decided not to indict the two officers involved in Tamir Rice’s death.
The account has since been deleted.
The school district CEO Eric Gordon has since released a statement about Cicero’s comments.
“The comments posted are particularly insensitive, considering that Officer Cicero works for the school district that served Tamir Rice and his family,” Gordon wrote. “Even as we grieve the tragic loss of this child to his family and to our entire school community, we are mindful of the very difficult job of our safety forces in our schools and our communities. Neither our citizens nor those who police our communities should be painted with a broad brush, and I don’t believe we will ever find solutions to such complex issues through Facebook posts — especially posts that further divide us.”
Two other spokespersons released statements regarding the derogatory remarks. The Cleveland City councilman Jeff Johnson believes that the officers should be fired. “It’s disrespectful to women, it’s disrespectful to African-Americans,” he said. “The fact that he’s so insensitive and he’s placing the blame of Tamir’s death on Tamir, for me that’s enough for him to be not working with children in the Cleveland school system.”
The Cleveland Metropolitan School district spokeswoman Roseann Canfora said, “While we respect every employee’s right to freedom of speech, with those rights comes a responsibility to do so in ways that are appropriate and sensitive to others, particularly to the people we serve.”
Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014 after responding to a report of a “guy” with a gun who was reportedly scaring people outside Cudell Recreation Center. Rice’s gun was an airsoft replica pellet gun.
(Photo Credit: Facebook Screenshot)