An independent report released last Friday evening determined that Tamir Rice’s hands were in his pockets when he was fatally shot on Nov. 22, 2014, by Caucasian Cleveland cop, Timothy Loehmann. It also noted that the 12-year-old’s toy gun was not visible to the rookie cop or his training officer, Frank Garmback, before the shooting.
Jesse L. Wobrock, a shooting reconstruction expert hired by attorneys representing Rice’s family contends that Rice’s hands were in his pockets when he was shot, and weren’t reaching for the toy gun in his waistband. He reached his conclusions after reviewing “enhanced video released last week by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty,” reads a report.
Loehmann had initially claimed to have repeatedly ordered the child to “show me your hands,” and then saw him pulling a pistol from his waistband before shooting him. Rice family attorneys refute this, saying that Rice could not have heard those commands with the patrol car windows rolled up.
Additionally, the video footage prosecutor’s released last month concluded that the cop shot Rice within two seconds of leaping from his cop car. However, the new report determined it occurred within less than a second.
“The scientific analysis and timing involved do not support any claim that there was a meaningful exchange between officer Loehmann and Tamir Rice, before he was shot,” Wobrock said. Adding that forensic evidence revealed that in the split second before the shooting, Rice raised his right arm in a defensive stance, while that same hand remained in his jacket pocket. Comparing the bullet-hole location in the jacket with the position of the body wound indicated that he had lifted his arm and did not have it by his waist when shot.
Two other experts who had studied the enhanced video maintained their original positions that the shooting was not justifiable, and the youth wasn’t reaching into his waistband when he was shot.
Grand jury action began in October, with some legal personnel who were questioned calling the shooting clearly objectively reasonable.
“The prosecutor needs to recall these officers and subject them to a vigorous cross-examination on all the contradictory nonsense in their written statements,” the family’s attorney said.
McGinty said, “An investigation is the search for the truth. … We welcome and will review all credible, relevant evidence from any source.”
Rice’s family has criticized the prosecutor for months, because of the lengthy investigation and has demanded charges against the cops be pressed.