Tamir E. Rice, 12, is seen allegedly pointing a pellet gun at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in this still image from video released by the Cleveland Police Department November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Cleveland Police Department/Handout via Reuters
November 13, 2015
By Kim Palmer
CLEVELAND (Reuters) – An Ohio prosecutor under intense criticism for his handling of the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-boy released a third expert report on Thursday which states that the officer’s action was “reasonable.”
A Cleveland police officer shot Tamir Rice after responding to a 911 call of a man brandishing a handgun outside a Cleveland recreation center on Nov. 22, 2014.
Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice within seconds of arriving on the scene, and he died the next day. Loehmann and a second officer who responded to the call are white and Rice, who was playing with a replica gun at the time of the shooting, was black.
The 33-page report released on Thursday by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty echoed conclusions of two other experts. The report found that Rice’s actions “provided no other alternative to Officer Loehmann than to apply deadly force” and that this was “the only objectively reasonable decision.” (http://bit.ly/1PED7fF)
The report was prepared by W. Ken Katsaris, a Florida law enforcement consultant and trainer who also testified for prosecutors in the manslaughter trial of Cleveland Police officer Michael Brelo.
Brelo was acquitted in May of the shooting deaths of an unarmed black man and a woman after a high-speed car chase.
McGinty also released a new video taken by a security camera outside the recreation center. It shows a different angle on the shooting than a previous recreation center video released to the public, and is from farther away.
The release of the report and video comes on the heels of a renewed call on Thursday from multiple Cleveland-area clergy members for McGinty to step down and appoint a special prosecutor in the case.
McGinty was criticized for saying that the Rice’s family had “economic motives.”
Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Cleveland suburb of Beachwood told reporters that Rice’s mother was grieving. “She need not be stigmatized or shamed,” Nosanchuk said.
A spokesman for McGinty said the prosecutor had no plans to step aside from this investigation, which is not yet complete.
A Cuyahoga County grand jury is hearing testimony about the shooting, which came at a time of increased scrutiny of the behavior of white police officers toward black civilians.
The shooting death of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014 prompted nationwide protests.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Lisa Shumaker)