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Published 15 December 2014

Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association president, Jeff Follmer, dismisses Andrew Hawkins protest in support of a young black killed by police as pathetic.

For the Cleveland Police Union, demanding justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford, both black persons shot-dead by police while using pellet guns, is “pathetic”.

Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association President, Jeff Follmer, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper Sunday that the T-shirt used by the Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins during the warmup time prior to Sunday’s game against Cincinnati Bengals was “disrespectful and pathetic.”

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead last month by a Cleveland agent because he was playing in a park with a pellet gun. Two days ago Rice's death was ruled a homicide.

“He's an athlete. He's someone with no facts of the case whatsoever,” the newspaper quoted Follmer as saying. “He's disrespecting the police on a job that we had to do and make a split-second decision.”

“It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law,” added Follmer.

Hawkins demonstration is just one more action that involves athletes who have been protesting against police brutality and expressing their support toward the relatives of unarmed black citizens who in the last years have been killed by police agents.

The demonstrations were sparked by grand jury decisions not to prosecute officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown, who was shot-dead in Missouri, and Eric Garner, who was choked to death by another white policeman in New York.

Follmer also demanded Hawkins and the Cleveland Browns an apology, but neither had made further comments.

Among players who have showed their support to the police brutality victims are Lebron James, from the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and several players from the St. Louis Rams football team.

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