EXPERTS DISAGREE WITH NEW ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY KILLING
“. . . unreasonable and unjustified use of deadly force.” Expert Roger Clark
“. . .reckless tactical decision making.” Jeff Noble, former CA deputy chief
BY Graham Rayman, Rich Schapiro
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
November 28, 2015
Two independent experts have concluded that the fatal police shooting of Tamir Rice was unjustified, the Daily News has learned.
The 12-year-old boy was carrying a toy gun on Nov. 22, 2014 when he was gunned down in a Cleveland park by a cop who opened fire seconds after hopping out of his patrol car.
“The shooting of Tamir Rice was inconsistent with generally accepted standards and norms in police practices and … it was an unreasonable and unjustified use of deadly force,” reads a report written by law enforcement expert Roger Clark. “The killing of this child was completely avoidable and preventable, and should never have occurred.”
[VOD: Roger A. Clark is a decorated 27-year-veteran cop who led a major-crimes task force in Los Angeles as a sheriff’s lieutenant before retiring in 1993. He has testified regarding the use of excessive force in many cases.]
The boy’s mother Samaria Rice, who is slated to testify before the grand jury on Monday, said the reports validated what she’s believed all along. She specifically pointed to the experts’ emphasis on the officers opening fire within two seconds of coming upon her son.
Tamir Rice, 12, was carrying a toy gun on when he was gunned down in a Cleveland park by a cop.
“Nobody, not a child, not an adult, can do anything in less than two seconds,” the 38-year-old mom said. “They didn’t give it any time to at least see what was going on.”
Rice family lawyer Earl Ward sent the reports to Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty Friday as the lengthy grand jury investigation into Rice’s death limps along.
The reports contradict two others released by McGinty’s office last month that concluded the two cops, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, acted reasonably. McGinty claimed he pushed out the reports in the interest of transparency, but Ward has argued it was part of a calculated effort to muddy the grand jury process.
In a letter to McGinty that accompanied the reports, Ward said he understands they “will likely not undo the damage already done to the grand jury process.”
“But we think it important to consider the testimony and findings of true experts to explain why this killing was unjustified,” it adds.
Ward also reiterated his call for McGinty to recuse himself from the case in favor of an independent prosecutor — a request that the Cuyahoga County prosecutor has dismissed.
The shooting of Rice was set in motion when a 911 caller reported seeing a youth in a park with a gun that was “probably fake.” The dispatcher failed to tell the two responding officers those two key pieces of information.
A grainy surveillance video captured the officers arriving at the scene and Loehmann opening fire, striking Rice once in the chest. “The record is uncontested that Tamir was not acting aggressively nor was he threatening or endangering anyone at that time,” Clark wrote in his report.
Jeff Noble, a former deputy police chief in the California cities of Irvine and Westminster, sharply criticized the two responding cops in his 18-page report.
“Officers Garmback and Loehmann engaged in reckless tactical decision making that created the danger, thus the use of deadly force was excessive, objectively unreasonable and inconsistent with generally accepted police practices,” Noble wrote.
Also Saturday, McGinty’s office released enhanced video stills of the fatal police encounter that killed Rice. (See still frame from video above.)
The most revealing of the 326 frames offer a crisp narrative of the seconds leading up to Rice’s death, with the officers in their patrol car quickly closing ground on him.
Text accompanying the images suggest that Rice’s movements could have appeared threatening to the responding officers.
“Rice moves toward police vehicle 5 seconds before police vehicle stops,” reads the narrative accompanying one photo.
The next few clips capture the moments before Rice is gunned down. “Rice moves forward and lowers arm to waist,” it reads. “Vehicle still in motion. Passenger door opens.”
“Rice’s shoulder and arms move upward,” the text accompanying another clip reads. “Vehicle still in motion…Loehmann exits vehicle.” The following still shows Loehmann standing a mere few feet from Rice, the officer’s gun pointed directly at the boy. “Rice reacts to gunshot,” the text reads.
Brooklyn man recounts pain of losing son at Tamir Rice rally
On the subject of what it takes to be a police officer, Nicholas Heyward has a simple rule.
“If I was a police commissioner and you shoot an innocent, you cannot be on my force,” Heyward said.
More than 20 years have passed since Heyward’s son 13-year-old, Nicholas, was shot to death by a cop while playing cops and robbers in a Brooklyn housing complex.
Yet the pain is as real and fresh as it is for mothers and fathers of today’s Black Lives Matter movement.
Heyward was one of about 100 demonstrators outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Sunday afternoon protesting police brutality, and commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot to death by police in Cleveland.
Like many who waved signs, held banners or led chant, Heyward said he was frustrated with the pace of the Cleveland grand jury’s investigation.
“It’s painful,” Cleveland said, blinking back tears. “My son’s case was closed in three months. It don’t take that long. And this was on film.”
Like Tamir, Heyward’s son was playing with a toy gun when he fatally crossed paths with a cop responding to a call.
“They don’t like to use the word ‘murder’ but here were innocent human beings,” Heyward said.
About 20 police officers shadowed the demonstrators as they marched from the arena to the Gowanus Housing Project, where Heyward’s son was killed in 1994.
At the Barclay’s Center, several cops stood in body armor, while others held rifles to guard the subway entrance to the arena.
Organizers said there were no arrests.
EXCLUSIVE: Tamir Rice’s mother still waiting for justice
PROTESTERS FOR TAMIR RICE MARCH THROUGH TRAFFIC ON THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE
BELOW: ORIGINAL VIDEO OF TAMIR RICE KILLING, INCLUDING BRUTAL ARREST OF HIS SISTER AFTERWARDS AS SHE TRIES TO HELP HIM. VIDEO SHOWS HOW LONG HE LAY DYING AS COPS FAILED TO HELP, AND BEFORE EMS ARRIVED. THE CHILD DIED FROM LOSS OF BLOOD FROM ONE GUNSHOT WOUND. HE COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED!
#TamirRice, #NicholasNaquanHeyward, #TerranceKellom, #AiyanaJones, #saveourchildren, #StopPoliceKillings, #StopPoliceGenocide, #StopWaronBlackAmerica, #PoliceState, #PrisonNation, #StandUpNow, #Beatbackthebullies, #Jailkillercops, #Blacklivesmatter, #BlacklivesmatterDetroit
A child life was taken, am a shame to live in a country who take a life and think it’s justified, how dare you call yourself human.