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Cleveland police’s fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice ruled homicide

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(CNN) — The death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot last month by Cleveland police after allegedly brandishing what authorities say was an air gun, has been ruled a homicide, the Cuyahoga County medical examiner’s office said Friday.

The November 22 shooting outside a Cleveland recreation center is under investigation, and Rice’s family has filed a lawsuit against two officers and the city over his death.

Police say Officer Timothy Loehmann, responding with a partner to reports that Rice was pointing a weapon at people, shot the boy within two seconds of exiting his police car.

Rice had been playing with a pellet gun, and a witness who saw “a guy with a pistol” told 911 twice that it was “probably” fake but that Rice was scaring people. It doesn’t appear the 911 dispatcher told the responding officers of the caller’s suspicions that the gun was probably fake.

Police have said that Loehmann opened fire after Tamir reached for the gun in his waistband and that an orange tip indicating the gun was a toy had been removed. Rice said she didn’t allow her son to play with toy guns, explaining that one of his friends gave it to him.

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6 comments

  • Lisa

    from what I saw in the video, the cops seemed to have rolled up on the kid too aggressively and did not give themselves any time or space to evaluate the situation or maneuver. the cops put themselves in a situation where they had to shoot.

    • Manalishi

      Garner’s death made sense although somewhat tragic. This one isn’t so clear. “the cops seemed to have rolled up on the kid too aggressively” W.T.F is that supposed to mean? “the cops put themselves in a situation where they had to shoot.” how, by answering the call? But i do agree with the short evaluation time.

      • Johnathan

        I read an article right after the Cleveland shooting that stated that the police officers seen in the video actually parked nearby and observed the youth for a little bit before approaching. That amount of time was unclear but it was allegedly during the time frame that the video cuts from the youth walking around to him hanging out on the gazebo/picnic table area. I do think the officer was quick to shoot but I understand if he thought the youth was reaching for his waistband by what i saw in the video. Its a tragedy in the end but the parents saying that they never let him play with guns doesnt add anything to the incident. he clearly had a replica gun with no safety markings and was pointing it at several people.

  • Patti Goettler

    So the dispatch did not give the responding Officers the correct info…they though they were driving up on a guy threatening people with a gun…they were supposed to wait until he shot them or others before responding?
    They “kid” was an idiot…if he was not bright enough to know what he was doing was wrong, then he should not have been running around loose…. NOT the cops fault here.

    • matt

      The kid was just that a kid. Most do not make good decisions. I realize a cops job is difficult. Same time even most a them don’t make the best a decisions. Going on about the orange tab they’d a never given that a chance

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