(The Washington Post) – Shaun King was furious.
The author and life coach turned activist has been one of the most prominent online voices in recent months, as protests of police impunity that began in Ferguson, Mo., spawned demonstrations in cities across the country. For those following the ever-growing roster of names of black men and boys killed by police, he has been one of the essential follows.
But his latest tweet storm, published Monday afternoon, was not about a new police shooting. In fact, it was about an old one.
For King and many of the other activists who have been some of the driving forces online behind the Black Lives Matter protests, the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice last November as he played in a park near his home was one of the most difficult of the many anecdotes.
For many of the most vocal activists, that Tamir was a child and that his shooting was captured on grainy camera footage makes this case the most difficult to stomach. When extended video of the shooting — which showed Cleveland police tackling Tamir’s sister to the ground as she ran to his dying body — was released late last year, one of the top protest organizers in Ferguson texted to tell me it had made him physically sick, imagining what he would do if his younger sister was wounded and he was tackled while trying to help her.