The family of a 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed while he was playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park has released a report from a team of use-of-force experts who called the shooting “objectively unreasonable,” reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Tamir Rice was playing by himself in a Cleveland park when two police officers were dispatched after receiving a report of “a male black sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people.” In surveillance video, the police cruiser can be seen roiling up to Rice with 26-year-old Cleveland cop Timothy Loehmann shooting Rice twice before the car even came to a halt.
The new report stands in stark contrast to the previous three reports commissioned and released by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, whom the Rice family has asked to step aside in the case.
According to Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra and the New York law firm of Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady, who compiled the new report, McGinty’s expert reports are “utterly biased and deeply flawed.”
Police procedures consultant Roger Clark and former deputy police chief of the Irvine Police Department Jeffry J. Noble — both nationally renowned experts in police use-of-force issues — reviewed Cleveland police investigative materials on the Rice shooting and called it unjustified.
In the 31-page document, the investigators stated that officer Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback placed themselves in harm’s way by driving within feet of Rice before shooting him.
According to the critical report, the officers’ poor tactical decision-making as well as systemic failures within the department resulted in the death of a child that was “completely avoidable…and should never have occurred.”
The two experts also slammed the Cleveland police department for its culture of corruption, while questioning the hiring of Loehmann who was fired from a previous law enforcement job for being inept.
The legal team representing the Rice family has asked prosecutor McGinty to present their findings to a Cleveland grand jury in investigating the shooting and he has agreed.