The 2014 death of Tamir Rice remains as one of the most tragic events of the several that have occurred between white police officers and a shooting victim of color. Lawyers for Rice’s family have presented two new reports from outside sources that suggest that the 12-year-old Cleveland boy’s killing was both unreasonable and preventable.
On Saturday (Nov. 28), the pair of outside reports was made available to the public and supports the idea that Officer Tim Loehmann’s actions were rash and contradicts three earlier reports that Rice’s shooting death was proper police protocol.
The New York Times has more:
In the reports provided by the Rice family’s lawyers, two former high-ranking officials at California law enforcement agencies criticized Officer Loehmann’s decision to fire his weapon and said the loss of life was avoidable.
“The officers engaged in reckless tactical decision making, they unreasonably placed themselves in harm’s way, and Officer Loehmann’s use of deadly force was excessive, objectively unreasonable and inconsistent with generally accepted police practices,” wrote Jeffrey J. Noble, a former deputy police chief in Irvine, Calif., in his report.
Mr. Noble’s report, as well as one written by Roger A. Clark, a former lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, reached a conclusion opposite of those previously released by prosecutors. The earlier reports found that Officer Loehmann had reasonably feared for his life and that the split-second decision to shoot Tamir could be justified under the circumstances. Tamir had been carrying a replica gun given to him by a friend.
According to a USA Today report, the Rice family hopes have these outside experts testify before a grand jury. The request to have these experts testify came on the heels of Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty releasing an enhanced video of the moments leading up to the fatal shooting on November 22, 2014.
Although the Rice family wants McGinty to step away from the case and appoint another prosecutor, McGinty has invited reports from all sides of the case to be considered for a grand jury hearing.
Watch NBC News’ report on the enhanced video of the moments before Tamir Rice’s fatal encounter with Cleveland police officer Tim Loehmann.
Photo: Family Handout