Courier-Journal cartoon drawing criticism - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Courier-Journal cartoon drawing criticism

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A controversial cartoon published in The Courier-Journal is drawing a lot of criticism from law enforcement.

Marc Murphy's illustration is titled "A Christmas Story: The Other Side of Town."

In the drawing, Tamir Rice is seen having a conversation with his mother. He states, "I want a Red Ryder BB Gun." His mom is against the idea. She explains, "A cop will shoot you dead in the street. And walk."

On Monday, a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Rice was shot and killed while playing with what turned out to be a pellet gun in November 2014.

While that case happened about 350 miles away, law enforcement in Kentuckiana is not happy about the Courier Journal Cartoon. Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel says it’s contrary to everything law enforcement is trying to do.

“To try and integrate back into the communities to try and make sure kids, and especially teenage kids, to reach out, to get more involved, and then for this stupid act,” Sheriff Noel said. “In my view it's a setback. It’s not a smart thing to do.”

The cartoonist, who is also a criminal lawyer, sees it differently and said he was not painting all police in a bad light.

“Not at all. It makes a point that these are things we have to talk about,” Murphy said.

And that is exactly what people have been doing since it was published Wednesday.

“It's crazy that the world is like that nowadays. It's sad,” Chimae Evans said.

“I think when the media puts things out there that pit people against each other - then it's not good and that's one example of it,” Shawn Burt said.

Murphy says he has never criticized an individual police officer. Instead he thinks departments need to change as a whole across the country.

“I can't imagine doing the job they do and I respect it and we need it. The most difficult thing to do in a democracy is to police. I recognize that,” Murphy said. “What I criticize though is the system and I criticize the training.”

But Sheriff Noel says the bottom line is this:

“When someone's in trouble or has a question. We want them to come to us. Not be afraid,” Noel said.

As for BB guns that look like real guns, Sheriff Noel says because times are unfortunately changing, no child should be playing with one in public.

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