Tamir Rice’s family speaks out on shooting video: This could have been avoided

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CLEVELAND- Tamir Rice's family released a statement Wednesday after police showed video of the officer-involved shooting of their 12-year-old son.

The following is the entire statement:

"We have seen the video that shows our son, Tamir, being shot and killed by a City of Cleveland police officer. It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us.

The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly. It is our hope that the City of Cleveland Division of Police and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office thoroughly examine the events outside of the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014.

Again, we ask for the community to remain calm. Please protest peacefully and responsibly. Your prayers, kind words and condolences have meant so much to us.

We understand that some of you are hurt, angry and sad about our loss. But let’s use those emotions in a way that will contribute to positive efforts and solutions that bring change to Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and cities across the nation as it relates to how law enforcement officials interact with citizens of color.

We thank the City of Cleveland Division of Police for making the video public. We will await the results of their investigation."

The decision to release the video was made shortly after the family of Tamir Rice issued a statement asking the city to release the video. Rice’s family reviewed the video and discussed it with their attorney.

**Warning: Below is the surveillance video that was released by Cleveland police at the request of Tamir's family. We are not showing the shooting out of respect to Tamir's family. Some may still find the video to be disturbing.**

Rice was shot in the playground area of the Cudell Recreation Center around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.  Police received a call that a male had a gun near the swings and was waving it at people.

“He’s sitting on a swing right now… He keeps pulling it out of his pants and pointing it at people,” the 911 caller told dispatch.  “I don’t know if it’s real or not”

In the video released Wednesday, Rice can be seen before the shooting walking along the sidewalk outside the rec center, talking on his cell phone and extending his arm with what appears to be a gun.

When the two officers arrived, they ordered Rice to put the gun down three times while still inside their police cruiser, according to Deputy Chief Ed Tomba. The officers got out of the car and fired two shots.

Tomba said Officer Garmback and an FBI agent who was in the area administered first aid to Rice within four minutes of the shooting. Rice was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.

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