A new surveillance video has been released of the November shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by two Cleveland police officers. Rice was shot after police saw him carrying a handgun that turned out to be a fake.
The 3o-minute video, released by the Northeast Ohio Media Group, shows the two officers standing by the wounded boy as he lies next to their patrol car. Neither officer appeared to offer medical assistance to Rice.
Approximately a minute and half after the initial shooting, one of the officers appeared to tackle Rice’s 14-year-old sister, who ran towards Rice from the nearby recreation center.
Rice didn’t get medical assistance until nearly four minutes later when a man police identified as an FBI agent administered first aid, according to Cleveland.com. Paramedics arrived several minutes later and took Rice away on a stretcher.
This is the initial confrontation between Rice and the police:
About a minute and a half later, the officers tackle the oncoming sister.
At about four minutes into the video, this man arrives and begins giving first aid. He was later identified as an FBI agent who was in the area.
Rice died at MetroHealth Medical Center nine hours later.
Walter Madison, one of the Rice family’s lawyers, told Reuters that the officers showed an “overwhelming indifference” to Rice.
“No one thinks that it’s appropriate to try to save him. The first person who does is not affiliated with the Cleveland police department … This is the level of service that makes people very upset and distrustful of law enforcement,” Madison told Reuters.
The Rice family was especially disturbed by the treatment given to Tamir’s sister, who was handcuffed and placed in a squad car just feet from the wounded Tamir.
“She was significantly restrained and held captive to helplessly watch her brother die … As more and more information is revealed, it makes us more focused on seeking justice,” Madison continued.
Officers were summoned to the scene in November after a 911 call reported “a guy” pointing a “probably fake” pistol outside a community recreation center in Cleveland, according to Cleveland.com. The caller repeated twice that the pistol was probably “fake,” though that information was not relayed to officers on the scene.
Police have told media outlets that, after arriving on the scene, Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback ordered Rice to put his hands in the air. According to the officers, Rice reached towards his waistband instead, leading Loehmann to shoot him. It’s impossible to tell exactly what happened based on the video.
The president of the police union, Steve Loomis, told Cleveland.com Thursday, saying the officers were justified in using deadly force. Loomis further defended the officers’ decision to restrain Tamir’s sister as it was an active crime scene.
A 2012 letter contained in Loehman’s personnel file from previous employment at the Independence Police Department was recently acquired by the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The letter, written by Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak, states that Loehmann was “distracted” and “weepy” during firearms training at the department and suggested that he was ill prepared for stresses of being a police officer. Loehmann resigned from the department shortly after.
Police departments in Akron, Euclid, and Parma Heights declined to hire him, and he failed a test to become a deputy with Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, according to Cleveland.com.
Spokesmen for the Cleveland Police Department could not be reached for comment on the video’s release. They have told multiple news outlets, including Reuters and The New York Times, that they cannot comment due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
The Rice family released a statement, which you can read in full below:
“The extended version of the Tamir Rice shooting video released this morning by the Cleveland police Department fully supports the initial account provided by the Rice family.
This video shows in crystal-clear HD that the responding officers acted inappropriately and recklessly, both in how they handled the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and the events that immediately followed.
The family is outraged that rather than comfort a sister coming to the aid of her dying brother, the officers instead manhandled and tackled her, cuffed her and thoughtlessly tossed her in the back of a patrol car.
It is painfully obvious that these Cleveland Police Department officers lacked even the most basic elements of training.”
The full video can be seen here:
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