Justice

4 Damning Findings From The Official Investigation Of Tamir Rice, The 12-Year-Old Shot Dead By A Cop

CREDIT: AP

On November 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann. Rice was playing with a toy gun. On Saturday, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office released the full investigative report, conducted by the Sheriff’s department. The Prosecutor’s Office still has not filed charges against Loehmann or his partner Frank Garmback or even taken the evidence to a grand jury.

But the 224-page report paints a grim picture of the conduct of Loehmann and Garmback that day.

1. Loehmann told officers at the scene that he had repeatedly warned Rice to show his hands prior to shooting him. He told the FBI special agent who arrived on the scene:

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CREDIT: Cuyahoga County Sheriff

He told Officer Lou Kitko:

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CREDIT: Cuyahoga County Sheriff

He told Officer William Cunningham that he had “no choice”:

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CREDIT: Cuyahoga County Sheriff

2. None of the witnesses heard the officers give Rice verbal commands before the shooting. The only witness who heard the officers say anything says the officers told Rice to put his hands up after shots were fired.

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CREDIT: Cuyahoga County Sheriff

None of the other witnesses report hearing any warnings being issued prior to the gun shots. The report generously concludes that it is “unclear” if Loehmann issued warnings before shooting Rice.

3. Loehmann shot Rice within 2 seconds after exiting his vehicle.

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CREDIT: Cuyahoga County Sheriff

Indeed it appears unlikely there was time to issue verbal commands. You can watch the video of the squad car’s approach and the shooting.

4. Both officers refused to cooperate with the investigation.

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CREDIT: Cuyahoga County Sheriff

The prosecutor’s office released the investigative report under considerable pressure. Using a seldom invoked provision of Ohio law, civil rights advocates appealed to a judge to look at the evidence and determine whether there was probable cause to charge Loehmann and Garmback. The judge found that Loehmann should be charged with murder and Garmback with negligent homicide.

Under Ohio law, however, the judge’s ruling was “advisory.”