— Sports Tap (@SportsTapApp) December 15, 2014
The Cleveland police shot and killed a 12-year-old-boy who had a toy gun, and lied about it. The video of the shooting shows that much.
On November 22, Tamir Rice was as a Cleveland, Ohio playground less than 100 yards from his home. He had with him a pellet gun or “airgun” — a toy. Surveillance video shows him alone, playing with the gun, throwing snowballs at the ground, and sitting by himself at a table. The man who called 911 out of concern even told the operator that Rice appeared to be a young kid, and that the gun was most likely not real.
But those details — about a kid with a fake gun — didn’t make it into the police dispatcher’s radio call to local officers.
Video of the shooting shows that officer Timothy Loehmann shot twelve-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of arriving on the scene. Loehmann shot Rice in the abdomen. Rice died later that day at MetroHealth Medical Center.
The officers called in the shooting — “male down, black male, maybe 20” — and let him lay there for nearly four minutes, without administering first aid. But when Rice’s sister tried to rush to his side, police tackled her, cuffed her, and put her in the back of their patrol car. They threatened his mother with arrest when she tried to reach him.
The police officers told a very different story of the shooting.
This is what the local police union told the press about what happened. The video shows that Rice was shot on sight.
There was no time for a warning, let alone three warnings. There was no time for police to see the tip of the gun, and know if it was a toy or not, because they never saw him point it. There was no time for 12-year-old Tamir Rice to realized what was happening when a police car suddenly stopped in front of him, and an officer shot him.
Tamir Rice didn’t die immediately. If he was conscious or aware of what was happening around him, there was time to wonder why he was hurting and no one was helping him. There was time for him to wish for him family and wonder why they weren’t there with him. If there is any mercy in the universe, he was unconscious.
The Cleveland police also said Loehmann was a “rookie.” He wasn’t. Loehmann had been an officer on the Cleveland police force for over two years. Before joining the Cleveland police, Loehmann was dismissed the police force in Independence, Ohio — a small suburb of Cleveland. His then supervisor wrote that Loehmann’s emotional breakdown at a gun range “leads one to believe that he would not be able to substantially cope, or make good decisions, during or resulting from any other stressful situation.”
“He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” according to the letter written by Deputy Chief Jim Polak of the Independence police.
That’s from a 5-page letter in Loehmann’s 60-page personnel file from, which the Cleveland Police Department never even read.
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So let’s review.
- Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed a 12-year-old boy on sight, with no time for warnings, or to even determine what was actually going on.
- Loehmann and his partner then stood around and did nothing for Tamir Rice, except get his age wrong when they called in the shooting, and then proceeded to treat Rice’s family like criminals.
- The Cleveland police told at least five outright lies about what happened.
- Loehmann never told the Cleveland police about his troubles on his previous job, and the Cleveland police never bothered to check his references before putting him on the street with a gun in his hands.
And the Cleveland police union wants an apology from a football player for wearing a shirt demanding justice for Tamir Rice?
Fuck the Cleveland police.