Police release video, names of officers in shooting of 12-year-old boy

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Authorities released surveillance video Wednesday of the officer-involved shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

**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.**

The names of the officers involved were also released.  They are Timothy Loehmann, age 26, appointed to the force in March 2014, and Frank Garmback, 46, appointed to the force in February 2008. Garmback was the driver and a training officer.

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.

The Rice family released the following statement Wednesday evening:

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.”

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.

The 911 call and police radio traffic from that day were both played at Wednesday's press conference. You can listen to the entire 911 call HERE.

“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.

Tomba said repeatedly the video is not an attempt to exonerate anyone.

The gun ended up being an airsoft but it looked like a real gun, police officials have said.  The orange safety tab had been removed from the gun.

Wednesday night, the Cleveland NAACP released the following statement:

"The Cleveland NAACP has carefully reviewed the video footage of the incident that occurred on Saturday, November 22, 2014 in which 12-year old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a rookie Cleveland policeman.

Officers were responding to a call about a person brandishing a weapon and although the caller indicated that the weapon was probably a toy, it is questionable whether that information was relayed to the responding officers.

We believe that the ever-increasing tension between the police and the citizens of Cleveland played a significant role in Tamir Rice's death. This shooting brings into question the adequacy of the selection, training and preparation of police officers.

Police officers should be prepared to confront and address people of all races and cultures and use deadly force only as a last resort.

Unfortunately, the shooting death of Black males or in the case of Tamir Rice, Black children, sheds light on the need for training for both police officers who are vested with the responsibility of dealing with the public and dispatch operators who are obligated to relay accurate information. Responding officers need to be properly equipped with the correct information to address each situation with an appropriate response. In no instance should deadly force be utilized where alternatives are available.

While we understand the feelings of anger, distrust, hyper vigilance, and helplessness that stem from the constant imposition of violence by officers who are sworn to protect and serve - we are asking the community to remain calm while we await a thorough and transparent review of the evidence and facts to ensure justice is served.

As this matter and other police related deaths are investigated, the Cleveland NAACP and other organizational leaders should be engaged in this process of reform to reduce and ultimately prevent these kinds of incidents. We will continue to work with the City of Cleveland, the Department of Justice and other organizations committed to addressing issues relative to the utilization of excessive and unnecessary force."

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