Tuesday, January 20, 2015

29:56 (Poem)


a child lies
unblanketed, untendered
two seconds—
and he went down
so many minutes before
the EMTs arrive
yellow tape is unfurled
and the car that brought death pulls away
a sister, 14, inside

© 2015 Maureen E. Doallas

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, I watched a 29:56-minute-long video released by the City of Cleveland, Ohio, as part of more extensive surveillance footage of a park where, on November 22, 2014, the 12-year-old child Tamir Rice, playing with a fake BB gun, was shot and killed by a police officer. The child was shot twice, twice within two seconds of the officer's arrival on the scene.

Watching the video, I was horror-struck by the length of time that elapsed between the shooting and the arrival of emergency medical assistance, and also by the tackling of another child, a 14-year-old later identified as Tamir Rice's sister, who was hand-cuffed and placed in the back of the police car. From that position, she watched as her brother lay on the ground, unattended; at a later point still, she saw his body removed. We do not see her release from police custody. As is stated in the article accompanying the video, when Tamir Rice's mother tried to come to the sister's aid and asked that she be released, the police gave her the untenable option to either stay with her daughter or go to the hospital; she choose to do the latter.


Peggy Rosenthal said...

Thank you for this musing on that horrific event. "Untendered" is a perfect neologism.

Carole Anne Carr said...

We live in such a disturbed world. The poem is a perfect reflection.

Jerry said...

What an underlining of the human condition...sad.