Police: Video Clearly Shows Shooting of Ohio Boy, 12

Jane Onyanga-Omara and John Bacon, USA Today, November 24, 2014

Surveillance video is “very clear on what took place” at a Cleveland playground when a police officer fatally shot a 12-year-old boy brandishing a fake gun, police said Monday.

Tamir Rice was shot twice Saturday afternoon and died at a hospital Sunday morning.

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the officer, one of two who responded to a dispatcher’s call, was less than 10 feet from Tamir when the confrontation took place. {snip}

Tomba said the video has been shown to representatives of the family. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said the video will be released, but did not say when.

The identities of the officers have not been made public. Both are on paid administrative leave pending completion of the investigation, which Tomba said could take three months.

Tomba said one officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon from his waistband, but had not pointed it at police. The boy did not make any verbal threats, but grabbed the replica handgun after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said.

Police Chief Calvin Williams said the “airsoft”-type BB gun was indistinguishable from a real semi-automatic pistol.

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A 911 call to police in which a man says the gun was “probably fake” has added to the controversy.

Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said the officers were not told the caller thought the gun might be fake. {snip}

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Rice’s friends and family brought posters, candles and teddy bears to the scene.

{snip}

A special grand jury concluded police officers’ actions were justified. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the shooting.

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