Thousands came to The Word Church in Warrensville Heights to see a roundtable lead by pastor R.A. Vernon on Monday.
The roundtable included Cleveland Chief of Police Calvin Williams and Mayor Frank Jackson.
The discussion lasted for about an hour and a half and covered everything from police excessive force to whether or not high ranking officials in the Mayor’s administration should be fired.
Williams said that the shooting of Tamir Rice was due to a failure of the system and not the officers or Tamir Rice’s actions, which drew jeers from the audience.
“If you knew what that officer knew at the time and if you were placed in that situation,” he said. “People say that Tamir was doing what a 12-year-old child does in the park playing and he was. But the officer was doing his job in responding to a call for service and there were things that the officer didn't know at the time.”
“Taking all that into consideration," Williams continued, "yes, I would say it’s not the fault of the officer at this time and it’s not the fault of Tamir."
newsnet5.com asked Williams if he thought the shooting was justified based on his comments.
Williams said, “I'm not going to make that determination. That's up to a prosecutor.”