Experts say that the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old Cleveland boy by police officers last year was unreasonable. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was black and the police officer who shot him was white. The experts were hired by the boy's family and their analysis was provided to a grand jury that is deliberating whether to press charges in the matter. The expert reports were released last Saturday after a prosecutor for the county described a detailed analysis of security camera footage from the day of the shooting, which happened in November 2014.
Shooting Happened Only Seconds After Police Reached the Park
The Cuyahoga County grand jury is trying to decide whether the officers involved in the incident, Cleveland Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, will be criminally charged. Timothy Loehmann was the officer who actually shot the boy. Loehmann shot the boy two times after responding to a 911 call that someone was waving a gun in the park. The officer shot him only seconds after they made it to the park.
The boy passed away from the gunshot wounds the following day. A dispatcher did not tell the officer that the 911 caller said that the suspect may have just been a child playing.
The Boy's Family Wants Prosecutors to Consider Charges
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty's analysis of security camera footage included 326 photographs from the day of the shooting. According to forensic expert Grant Fredericks, the boy's arm went toward his waist when officers came near him. Police experts claim that this gave the officers a reasonable justification to kill the boy.
After McGinty's analysis was released, a lawyer for the boy's family presented two competing expert reports. The family's lawyer said that the prosecutor's analysis and other reports were inappropriate and prejudicial. "The view expressed in those reports that the killing of Tamir Rice was reasonable and justified is nothing short of preposterous," the family attorney said.
If this case results in charges, then the officer who shot the boy could face allegations in criminal court related to manslaughter or murder.
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