Attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer last year, have released two reports which found the officer’s conduct in the shooting to have been “unreasonable.”
Timothy Loehmann, an officer in training, fatally shot Tamir after pulling up with another officer outside a Cleveland recreation center in November 2014, while Tamir, an African-American boy, had been playing with a pellet gun.
Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, called for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty to step down from the case in October, after McGinty released two reports which concluded the shooting had been reasonable.
The new reports, written by Jeffrey Noble, a former deputy police chief in Irvine, Calif., and Roger A. Clark, a former lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, found “the officers involved exerted ‘unreasonable and unjustified use of deadly force,’ and that Officers Loehnmann and Garmback displayed a ‘callous disregard for the life of Tamir,'” the Rice family said in a statement.
A grand jury is expected to consider all four reports when deciding whether the officers involved in the shooting should face criminal charges in the case.
Previously, McGinty had refused to step down from the case, and Rice family advocates delivered 200,000 signatures in support of his removal from the case to his office last week.
“Unlike the reports solicited by the prosecutor, these independent reports consider all relevant facts, including the recklessness of the officers’ behavior in rushing upon Tamir, the immediacy of Officer Loehmann’s shots, and the fact that the officers left a 12-year-old boy bleeding and dying on the ground without first aid,” attorney Subodh Chandra stated. “And the new reports, unlike the prosecutor’s, don’t make up non-existent officer testimony, or ignore binding Sixth Circuit federal constitutional law holding that officers can’t create the perceived danger they later use to try to justify their conduct.”
McGinty has released the following statement in response to the new reports:
“Our stated policy in all use-of-deadly-force cases is to welcome all relevant evidence, and let the grand jury evaluate, and make the decision. This process is a wide-open search for the truth.”
Prior to the release of the reports, McGinty also released an enhanced video of the shooting.
“Once again … we are not reaching any conclusions from these or other isolated bits of evidence,” he stated. “Individually, they are simply pieces of a complex puzzle.”