The two Cleveland police officers who were involved in the gunning down of 12-year-old Tamir Rice have released statements regarding the case. Officer Timothy Loehman claims that he ordered the boy to show his hands ahead of firing his service weapon.
Loehmann, and his training officer Frank Garmback, both issued signed statements to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday. Loehmann was the officer who shot and killed Rice while Garmback did not fire his weapon. According to the statement, Loehmann reacted to what he felt was Rice making a motion to pull a weapon from his waistband and stated he ordered Rice to show his hands.
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Surveillance video shows the police car pull up very close to Tamir and Loehmann getting out of the vehicle and firing within seconds. Garmback said the car, which he estimated to be going between 10 to 12 mph, slid. “The car did not stop where and when I intended,” he said.
The officers both said that Garmback told Loehmann he thought Tamir was going to run, and were afraid he was going to enter the recreation center.
Loehmann said in his statement that as the car slid, “I started to open the door and yelled continuously, ‘show me your hands’ as loud as I could.”
Garmback said in his statement he believes the windows were up, but isn’t sure.
Garmback said he saw the gun at around the time that Loehmann got out of the police car, and he thought it was a handgun. Garmback said he and Loehmann told Tamir to show his hands.
“Even when he was reaching into his waistband, I didn’t fire. I still was yelling the command ‘show me your hands,'” Loehmann said in his statement. Loehmann said he fired twice. “I shot towards the gun in his hands,” he said.
A grand jury is scheduled to make a determination on whether or not to charge Loehmann with a crime. Rice’s mother said via her attorneys that the officers’ statements contradict what was seen via the video footage of the shooting.
Three experts thus far sided with Loehmann’s actions, despite the speed in which he reacted in the matter. Two experts presented by the Rice family offered their take on the shooting and said that Rice’s death was a preventable situation.
Photo: family handout