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Cleveland Police Say No Apology Is Necessary From Andrew Hawkins For "Justice For Tamir Rice" Shirt

After the Cleveland police union boss demanded the Browns player apologize for wearing a shirt calling for justice in Ohio police shooting cases, the chief of police says that is not necessary.

Posted on December 16, 2014, at 6:47 p.m. ET

On Sunday, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins walked onto the field wearing a black shirt over his jersey in protest of recent Ohio police shootings that read, "Justice For Tamir Rice And John Crawford III."

Getty Images / Joe Robbins

On Monday, Cleveland police union President Jeffrey Follmer lashed out at Hawkins, calling the shirt "pathetic" and demanding an apology from the Browns player. Follmer later went on MSNBC and called the deadly shooting of 12-year-old Rice "justified."


Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams responded on Tuesday with a statement saying that an apology from Hawkins and the Browns wasn't necessary.

"It is important to note that the comments made by Mr. Folmer do not represent the views of the Cleveland Division of Police. The Division of Police respects the rights of individuals to peacefully demonstrate their personal views and opinions. Mr. Hawkins was certainly well within his rights to express his views and no apology is necessary."

AP / Mark Duncan

Calvin Williams

Hawkins made it clear that he would not be apologizing in his own response to Follmer. "A call for justice shouldn't offend or disrespect anybody, a call for justice shouldn't warrant an apology."

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Samaria Rice, mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, slain by Cleveland police on Nov. 22, told BuzzFeed News this week that police have not spoken to her since the shooting and the department "need to apologize to me before demanding apologies.”


Samaria Rice