Cleveland – The prosecutors involved in the ongoing Grand Jury hearing on the fatal police shooting of 12yr-old Tamir Rice are claiming transparency as their reasoning behind the release of two outside reviews by experts in the use of force that have concluded that the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice was justified.
The reports, one by a retired FBI agent, the other by a Denver prosecutor both concluded that the rookie officer who killed Tamir had exercised a reasonable use of force.
Subodh Chandra, a lawyer for the Rice family, told the Chicago Tribune that the release of the reports shows the prosecutor is avoiding accountability, which is what the family seeks.
“It is now obvious that the prosecutor’s office has been on a 12-month quest to avoid providing that accountability,” he said. He added that the prosecutor’s office didn’t provide his office or the Rice family with the details from the reports. He also questioned the timing of the release, at 8 p.m. Saturday on the Columbus Day holiday weekend.
“To get so-called experts to assist in the whitewash — when the world has the video of what happened — is all the more alarming,” Chandra said. “Who will speak for Tamir before the grand jury? Not the prosecutor, apparently.”
Both ‘experts’ were provided with surveillance video of the shooting that showed Loehmann firing at Tamir within two seconds after the police cruiser driven by his partner pulled up next to the boy.
True, the officers did not have any time to properly assess the situation, but this fact is of no fault of Tamir, this fact is the fault of the officers who killed him.
Instead of recognizing that glaringly obvious fault in the officers approach to Tamir when they pulled their vehicle right next to a young boy who they were informed had a real weapon, which did not provide the officers or Tamir with any time at all to properly assess the situation. The ‘expert’ reports somehow glaze over that fact and find a way to justify fatally shooting a 12yr-old within 2 seconds of an encounter.
The release of these reports is a direct indication that justice for Tamir Rice and his family are not the priority of the prosecutors investigating a police murder, but yet another occurrence of a corrupted judicial system that goes above and beyond to protect police officers at any cost. This time, the cost is the life of a 12yr old boy who was playing with his BB gun.
The tragic outcome of that day could have been easily avoided if the officers had not driven right into the park to stop their vehicle within 2 feet of Tamir who they were under the impression had a firearm.
Yet the ‘experts’ claim otherwise. Retired FBI agent Kimberly A. Crawford concluded that officer 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.”
Lamar Sims, the chief deputy district attorney in Denver, also concluded “The officers did not create the violent situation,””They were responding to a situation fraught with the potential for violence to citizens.”