Officers' Statements Presented To Grand Jury

  • Officers' Statements Presented To Grand Jury

Officers' Statements Presented To Grand Jury

Two Cleveland police officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice have given statements to investigators in which they say they thought the pellet gun he was carrying was a real gun.

McGinty plans to submit all the reports to the grand jury that will decide whether to approve criminal charges against Loehmann or his partner, Officer Frank Garmback.

The rookie officer said that Tamir Rice didn't obey his commands and that he saw the boy pulling a weapon out of his waist band.

"She had the opportunity to ask the grand jury to consider whether it could possibly be "reasonable" or "justifiable" for officers to speed across the grass when driveways were nearby, rush up to Tamir, and shoot him immediately", the statement said.

"We are trained to get out of the cruiser because 'the cruiser is a coffin.' I observed the suspect pulling the gun out of his waistband with his elbow coming up", Loehman wrote. He says he yelled "show me your hands" as loudly as he could.

"I knew it was a gun and I knew it was coming out", officer Timothy Loehmann said in the statement given to investigators.

While faulting the dispatcher for that omission, Noble and Clark say the two officers were nevertheless reckless in driving right up to Tamir, who at that point was alone in the park, instead of assessing the situation from a distance and formulating a plan. "Offier Garmback was also yelling 'show me your hands'". In recent weeks, however, police accountability advocates have expressed dismay in response to McGinty releasing three reports, written by law enforcement experts from around the country, that concluded Loehmann had acted "reasonably" in using deadly force against Rice.

This still image taken from a surveillance video played at a news conference held by Cleveland Police on Nov. 26 2014 shows Cleveland police officers arriving at Cudell Park on a report of a man with a gun. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot
Officers' Statements Presented To Grand Jury

Information that the gun the caller saw was probably not real and that the person holding it appeared to be a juvenile was not conveyed to Loehmann and his partner, according to recordings that law enforcement released.

It's unclear how close the grand jury is to making a decision, or whether Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty will recommend that they hand down an indictment or not. "We continued to yell 'show me your hands, '" Loehmann said in the statement.

The shooting, which was captured on video, prompted local protests as well as calls for both Cleveland officers to be fired.

Then, Loehmann wrote, he saw Tamir lift his shirt and reach into his waistband. "The threat to my partner and myself was real and active", Loehmann said. "The cruiser did slide when I applied the brakes", Garmback said in his statement.

Subodh Chandra, an attorney for Tamir's family, said Tuesday that the officers' statements were contradictory and did not make sense.

"The male appeared to be over 18 years old and about 185 pounds", Loehmann wrote.

Lawyers for the Rice family have repeatedly dismissed claims that Loehmann and Garmback could have given the 12-year-old sufficient warnings or commands, given the fraction of time that passed between the officers arriving on the scene and opening fire.