#TangoDown: Anonymous close Cleveland City govt website over 12yo shooting death
The Hacktivist collective Anonymous have launched an attack on the official site for the City of Cleveland after 12-year-old Temir Rice was shot dead by local police for carrying a BB gun.
In a video released on Monday, Anonymous lambasts Cleveland City Police, whose alleged inability to train their officers properly is said to have led to the tragedy.
“This rookie officer apparently was not trained. The police department he works for is to blame for this lack of appropriate training. Officers are equipped with many non-lethal options such as Taser guns. Why did he not use a Taser on this child? Shooting him in cold blood was not necessary with these non-lethal options available,” a statement from the collective said.
The group further questioned whether the police were so “moronic” that they were unable to use anything other than lethal force to deescalate the situation. The called the justification that the police “feared for their lives” ludicrous, as Rice was only 12-years-old and armed with an air soft gun. The message concluded with a vow to target all municipalities whose “ignorant” and poorly-trained officers pose a threat to society.
“Police of the United States you will learn in due time once Anonymous has shut down your sites that we will not stand for your ignorant, untrained rookie cops.”
On Monday, Twitter was awash with the hashtag #TangoDown, the telltale sign of an Anonymous-affiliated attack. Many of the tweets provided links to the official site for the city of Cleveland, which was inaccessible at the time of writing.
Rice was shot at around 3:30pm local time on Saturday, at Cleveland’s Cudell Rec Center after police responded to a distress call about a male allegedly threatening people nearby with a gun.
— Ghost Security Anony (@realgsa) November 24, 2014
According to Cleveland police statement, upon arrival on scene, officers located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands.
“The suspect did not comply with the officers’ orders and reached to his waistband for the gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso,” the statement reads.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) November 24, 2014
Upon further investigation, the boy’s “weapon” turned out to be an air gun “resembling a semi-automatic pistol, with the orange safety indicator removed,” the statement adds.
The individual who called in called 911 had told dispatchers the boy was on a swing set and was scaring people with a pistol that was “probably fake.”
The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association told The Associated Press, however, that the officers responding to the incident were not told the caller believed the gun was not real.
— AnonOlympus (@AnonOlympus) November 24, 2014
Rice, who was shot twice in the stomach, died of his wounds on Sunday. Two officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
One officer somehow managed to sustain an injury to his ankle and was transported to Fairview Hospital for treatment, police said.
Monday’s Anonymous action is only the latest civil rights furor the collective has weighed in recent times. The group is currently involved in an ongoing struggle both with the Police Department of Ferguson, Missouri, and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
On Wednesday, they released a video warning that if either Ferguson police or the KKK used violence against peaceful protesters they would face consequences.
— Houston, we have a (@tangodownwatch) November 24, 2014
Meanwhile, a grand jury is set to announce its decision on whether or not to charge Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson on August 9, for the death of the unarmed teen.
There are fears in the city that any decision not to try Wilson could incite further unrest.