Disturbing Revelation About Tamir Rice Shooting Found in New Video Analysis Results
New analysis of surveillance tape from a Cleveland, Ohio, recreation center suggests Tamir Rice — the 12-year-old boy shot and killed by a police officer in November 2014 — had his hands in his pockets when Officer Timothy Loehmann opened fire.
Shooting reconstruction expert Jesse Wobrock reviewed the video on behalf of attorneys for Rice's family, according to NBC News. His findings, which were released late Friday night, confirmed the conclusion of two previous expert analyses, who agreed Rice had his hands in his pockets when he was shot and was not reaching for his waistband. Those analyses were also commissioned by Rice's family attorneys.
A grand jury is now considering whether to indict Loehmann in Rice's death, a process that has taken nearly 13 months.
The revelation complicates findings presented by Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty, who is bringing Loehmann's case before the grand jury. On Oct. 10, a separate pair of outside experts — a Colorado prosecutor and a former FBI supervisory special agent, both commissioned by McGinty — concluded Loehmann acted "reasonably" when he shot Rice.
"Officer Loehmann's belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat," wrote S. Lamar Sims, the Colorado prosecutor, according to the New York Times. Rice was carrying a non-lethal toy pellet gun at the time of the shooting.
Loehmann and Officer Frank Garmback responded to a 911 call Nov. 23, 2014, claiming someone who may be a juvenile was pointing what was probably a fake gun at people outside the Cudell Recreation Center. That qualifying information was not passed on to the officers by the dispatcher, according to reports.
Much has also been made of the fact Loehmann shot Rice a mere two seconds after opening the door of his patrol car, but Wobrock's analysis found it may actually have been less than one second. Wobrock also suggests Loehmann's window was rolled up too long for there to have been a "meaningful exchange" between him and Rice, as Rice would not have been able to hear his command to drop the toy gun.
Not to mention Loehmann had a troubled history as a police officer long before he shot Rice. His personnel file from his tenure in the Independence (Ohio) Police Department contained a review from Deputy Police Chief Jim Polak that described him as "distracted" and "weepy" and claiming he "had issues with handling guns."
Polak also wrote of Loehmann, he "could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections and his handgun performance was dismal." These issues led to Loehmann's eventual resignation, according to a previous report from Mic.
Police shootings of unarmed black people have galvanized a nationwide protest movement over the past year and a half. Wobrock, who analyzed the Rice video, is available to testify before the grand jury, NBC News reports.
h/t NBC News