The very popular app Pokémon Go has led users to many different locations in pursuit of different characters. It was recently discovered that the game has made the location where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by police an official “Pokéstop.”
Although it is interesting that the Cudell Gazebo has been made a stop, what’s more fascinating is the bold and factual description that appears when you visit the site.
In 2015, a grand jury decided that the shooting of Tamir Rice was justified; however, the creators of Pokémon Go think otherwise and they are using their game to memorialize Tamir Rice.
When you visit the gazebo where Rice was shot, text appears that reads:
Community memorial for Tamir Rice, shot and killed by CPD officers who shot him in under 2s after breaking department policy regarding escalation of force.”
Although there is no official memorial or plaque to honor Tamir Rice at the site, the gazebo has been filled with flowers and stuffed animals by visitors and members of the community. And now, with the information included in the software of the game, users are given a brief history lesson while playing.
This site is not the only monument used in the game; however, this site has such a cultural and historical representation. The fact that a stark reality has been placed into a fictional game is remarkable. With the increase in foot traffic the gazebo is getting, there could be a new push for the site to become an official memorial.
(Photo: JORDAN GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)