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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Police Release Video of Officer Shooting Tamir Rice

Officer Timothy Loehmann Seen Firing His Gun 1-2 Seconds After Arriving

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 1:49 PM

In an unusual move for a department in the throes of investigation, Cleveland police leaders today released the video of Tamir Rice being shot at Cudell Rec Center

Police Chief Calvin Williams said the department decided to do this after cooperating with the family's wishes over the last few days. The release came at the request of Tamir Rice's family after they were first given the opportunity to watch the video.

"I just want people to bear in mind that, again, this is a 12-year-old boy," Williams said, cautioning news media against a frenzy.

Police also released the names of the responding officers: Timothy Loehmann, 26, Badge #1231, appointed to the department March 3, 2014, and Frank Garmback, 46, Badge #1582, appointed to the department Feb. 25, 2008. Loehmann was riding on the passenger side of the vehicle and was the officer who shot Tamir.

The video had been "compressed for time," deputy chief Ed Tomba said, as Tamir occasionally is seen moving off-camera for minutes at a time. Police showed the silent video in its entirety, then once again with narration from Tomba.

The 9-1-1 caller is seen sitting at a picnic table while Tamir paces back and forth on the sidewalk. Tamir is seen throwing a snowball, talking on his cell phone and pointing the air-soft gun in front of him at least twice throughout the series of video clips.

Police arrive at 3:30 p.m., after Tamir had been sitting at a picnic table for some time. The squad car pulls up very close to Tamir, and then everything happens very fast: The officer riding in on the passenger side of the car gets out, and Tamir can be seen lifting his shirt with his right hand. Immediately, Tamir is seen falling down. Two shots were fired within "one-and-a-half to two seconds" of the officers pulling up, Tomba said.

"Three commands were given to show your hands by Officer Loehmann," Tomba said. "[The commands came] out the they pulled up." Tomba wasn't clear when asked by reporters whether Tamir said anything to the officers. 

WKYC has uploaded the portion of the video involving the officers' response.

Earlier in the news conference, police played back audio clips that led to the response.

The original 9-1-1 audio was played as news reporters gathered downtown for the event. The caller referred to the weapon as "probably fake" on two occasions. The caller also said that the person was "probably a juvenile, you know?"

Then an audio clip of the dispatcher communicating with First District responders was played. The dispatcher referred to "a guy sitting on the swings, pointing a gun at people." There's no indication that the 9-1-1 caller expressed doubt about the weapon. The officer on the other end of the line, reached near West 159th Street and Lorain, is heard as he begins heading toward the park. Later: "Shots fired," from the officer.

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