The Tamir Rice shooting report has caused some controversy since it claims that Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann was justified in opening fire on a 12-year-old boy holding a pellet gun. In response, Tamir’s family claims that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty is attempting to “whitewash” the video and the reality behind the police shooting.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a meeting between the Black Lives Matter movement and Hillary Clinton discussed the role of U.S. police forces in the community. A Texas police officer is being investigated after he was seen on video choke-slamming a black teen into the ground during the apparently peaceful aftermath of a school fight.
Back in June, a judge said the Tamir Rice shooting video offered enough evidence for police officer Timothy Loehmann, and his partner Frank Garmback, to be brought up on charges of reckless homicide or dereliction of duty.
“The video in question in this case is notorious and hard to watch,” Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine said, according to NPR. “After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly.”
The Cuyahoga County medical examiner also ruled Tamir’s death a homicide, noting that the boy “suffered gunshot wounds to the torso and suffered injures of major vessel, intestines and pelvis.” At the same time, Adrine noted that his ruling could not “compel prosecutors to charge the officers.”
That job is up to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty. But the family of the shooting victim is upset because the evidence in the Tamir Rice report was released to the media before a grand jury even had a chance to consider the police shooting case.
For example, FBI veteran Kimberly A. Crawford wrote that Loehmann “had no information to suggest the weapon was anything but a real handgun, and the speed with which the confrontation progressed would not give the officer time to focus on the weapon.”
“It is my conclusion that Officer Loehmann’s use of deadly force falls within the realm of reasonableness under the dictates of the Fourth Amendment,” she wrote.
The second expert, Denver’s Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney, S. Lamar Sims, also concluded that the Tamir Rice shooting was reasonable.
“The officers did not create the violent situation,” he claimed. “They were responding to a situation fraught with the potential for violence to citizens.”
— Jay Beware (@jaybeware) October 11, 2015
The statement from McGinty states that his office is “not reaching any conclusions from these reports.” Instead, it is claimed the report was released so “attorneys for the Rice family [can] offer input and/or evidence” in addition to allowing for “public dialogue regarding the use of deadly force in this and other cases with the goal of preventing these tragic occurrences.”
Tamir Rice’s family disagrees with the release of the report based upon its contents. They claim Prosecutor McGinty “has been on an 11-month quest to avoid providing” accountability for officer Timothy Loehmann. They also say that, as a prosecutor, McGinty should be the advocate for Rice, not the police.
“Any presentation to a grand jury—without the prosecutor advocating for Tamir—is a charade. To get so-called experts to assist in the whitewash—when the world has the video of what happened—is all-the-more alarming.
“These hired guns—all pro-police—dodge the simple fact that the officers rushed Tamir and shot him immediately without assessing the situation in the least. Reasonable jurors could find that conduct unreasonable. But they will never get the chance because the prosecutor is working diligently to ensure that there is no indictment and no accountability.”
In response to the controversy over the Tamir Rice report, prosecutor Timothy McGinty says the “gathering of evidence continues, and the grand jury will evaluate it all.”
What do you think?
[Image via Tamir Rice’s Family]