Lawyers for Tamir Rice’s family release two expert opinions, say shooting was excessive and unjustified
CLEVELAND – Attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice released reports from experts they asked to review the case.
The experts both stated they believe the shooting of the 12-year-old was excessive and unjustified.The first expert opinion came from Roger Clark, a Police Procedures Consultant from Santee, California. The second from Jeff Noble, retired Deputy Chief of Police from Irvine Police Department in Southern California.
Clark mentions that Officer Loehmann was “unfit for duty as a police officer and should have never been hired. Hiring and retaining plainly unfit police officers is a recipe for disaster.”
He also talks about the video quality and that it is unclear what Tamir is doing before the shooting occurred.
“In fact, the video is extremely unclear and, if Officers Loehmann and Garmback had followed proper police practices and were at a safe distance, with cover, and communicating with Tamir, then they would have been able to assess whether or not he was actually reaching for a gun and that he was actually a 12-year-old boy with a toy gun.”
Noble also shares an opinion that Officer Loehmann was not fit to be an officer.
“Officer Loehmann has a history of untruthfulness as a police officer and his prior acts of untruthfulness impact his credibility. In this matter, the credibility of Officer Loehmann is also questionable due to his alleged statements at the scene to other officers that he gave Tamir commands, yet the video and the fact the patrol car’s windows were rolled up call into question such claims.”
The attorneys for Tamir’s family sent a letter to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty stating they want their experts to also testify in front of the grand jury.
McGinty released the following statement in reply:
“In June the plaintiffs lawyers suing the police and the city were invited to produce witnesses and any relevant evidence. We promised it would be considered by the Sheriff’s investigation team and presented to the Grand Jury. It was only this week that they asked for more time and said they had new evidence. They were told they could have the time they needed. Our stated policy in all use of deadly force cases is to welcome all relevant evidence and let the Grand Jury evaluate and make the decision. This process is a wide open search for the truth. As for testifying, we’ll discuss that with the lawyers, not the news media.”
McGinty has released three opinions from experts stating the shooting was tragic but justified. On Saturday, McGinty’s office also released a report with 326 enhanced images from the surveillance video at the rec center the day of the shooting.
Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer Nov, 22, 2014 in the playground area of the Cudell Recreation Center.
The shooting happened after a 911 caller advised police there was a male at the rec center waving a gun.
When officers arrived, they saw Rice. According to police, Officer Timothy Loehmann told Rice to put his hands in the air, but instead the 12-year-old reached for his waistband. Rice had an airsoft pistol that police say looked like a real gun.
Family members of Rice say the officers shot the 12-year-old in less than 2 seconds, and they believe the officers should be criminally charged.
The case is now up to the grand jury to determine if any charges should be filed against the officers.