Rebuttal-Experts say Police shooting of Tamir Rice “Justified” Not So!

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Yesterday, on October 10, 2015 The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office released a report to national media outlets with suggestions from two experts-Retired Virginia FBI agent Kimberly Crawford and Denver-area District Attorney S. Lamar Sims. According to the report -both are considered specialist in the use of force by police- who concluded that the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland officer was “tragic” and “heartbreaking,” but reasonably “justified,” given that the officer believed the boy to be armed.The specialist claimed-there can be no doubt that Rice’s death was tragic and, indeed, when one considers his age, heartbreaking “However, I conclude that Officer Loehmann’s belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat.” ,” Sims wrote in a 52-page analysis.

What is problematic and troubling in this report is-As reported they (specialist) only examined the constitutionality of Loehmann’s decision to open fire on the boy during their two-second encounter. I along with many others who have followed this case closely believe that if the alleged experts opinion was more fair (balanced)-then with their report they should have considered the following viewpoints:

  •  Either or both Retired Virginia FBI agent Kimberly Crawford and Denver-area District Attorney S. Lamar Sims, national experts on police use-of-force issues, each should have also included details as to whether Loehmann or his partner Frank Garmback violated Ohio Laws, made tactical mistakes or broke with department policy in the moments leading up to the shooting.
  • The approach placed Loehmann “in a position of great peril” just feet from a potential gunman and with no cover, Sims wrote. Crawford acknowledged in her report that there were questions as to what, if any, commands Loehmann gave Tamir as the officers approached him. The question that is of utmost importance is- If the officers actions caused the downward progression of events that lead to Tamir’s shooting and ultimately his death-when presented all circumstances-then would it reasonable to conclude that the officers actions in this case were unjustified. 
  • Another question that must be asked is whether the officer’s actions with regards to what they do when in uniform is focused on their obligation to their “sworn” mission to improving public safety and the fulfillment of public service. To further, illustrate this point-let’s examine another critical question  1) Police said that Rice then reached into his waistband and pulled out the toy gun, and was then shot and killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann. The video shows that Rice did not pull out the toy gun. In the video, Rice is using both hands to hold his shirt up and expose the pellet gun to view just before he falls to the ground.
  • Remember-all this direction was apparently  given, to Tamir Rice in the two seconds before his shooting: this means that, 1) police would have rolled up on the  recreation park gazebo 2)  rolled down the window  3) Loehmann then jumps out of the car and immediately gives three orders to drop the alleged gun three times. 4) Loehmann then jumps out of the car and immediately shoots Rice from a distance of less than 10 feet (3.0 m). This all would have had to happen in 2 seconds at superhuman speed! Not very realistic!

The Rice family and Clevelanders have always said that they want the officers who rushed upon and killed 12-year-old Tamir held accountable. The family now believes that the prosecutor’s office has been on an 11-month quest to avoid providing that accountability. 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 supposed “experts”—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. Who will speak for Tamir before the grand jury? Not the prosecutor, apparently.”

Subodh Chandra Attorney for Tamir Rice Family

Actual Picture of Tamir-just prior to the shooting. Associated Press

 My last question is this a way of the Prosecutor co-signing with the Police Officers defense team to direct our minds toward this innocent 12 year olds justifiable homicide. Ultimately the one question that we must all ask is “who are you going to believe”  Are we allowing these “alleged”  experts to fuel a false narrative-that places these officers in a position to say the shooting of Tamir was justified, or can we as members of the public ask more of these officials including the Prosecutor of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty-who has suspiciously released alleged expert testimony prior to this case going to a grand jury? without reason!“We would hope that the community can come together and find every possible way to address the serious community violence, that we are now facing,” 

We would ask that everyone possible look at this disturbing video and demand logical answers, as to why? Why did you shoot an innocent child who was playing in a park with a toy gun! Is report is propaganda, after reviewing the video, I would have to say, yes definitely! 

Gregg L Greer, Advocate Lead-Tamir Rice Family 

For Tamir Rice’s life- we have  to change our condition and correct our broken system-and  it has to happen, now not later!  No more lies!

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