Boy's Shooting Death Didn't Have to Happen: Family

Police who confronted Tamir Rice 'reacted quickly,' family statement says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2014 6:45 AM CST
Boy's Shooting Death Didn't Have to Happen: Family
This still image taken from a surveillance video played at a news conference held by Cleveland Police on Nov. 26, 2014, shows police officers arriving at Cudell park.    (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Tamir Rice could have, and should have, come home on Saturday after a day in the park. That's the belief of his family, which issued a statement yesterday about his death after a video of the 12-year-old being fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer was made public yesterday, the AP reports. "It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us," the statement released by the family's attorneys reads. "The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly." Timothy Loehmann, the 26-year-old rookie officer who shot Tamir, has been on the Cleveland force for less than nine months, with only a previous five-month stint on a suburban police force (and four of those months were with the police academy).

The family also says in the statement that they hope the Cleveland police and Cuyahoga County prosecutors "thoroughly examine" everything that happened, including what took place after Tamir's shooting. Neither of the officers first on the scene—Loehmann and his partner, 46-year-old Frank Garmback, who are now on paid administrative leave—administered CPR or first aid to Tamir after he was shot. Instead, the boy remained on the ground for "a few minutes" until an FBI agent on the beat nearby arrived (followed by paramedics three minutes later) and started helping the boy, Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said at yesterday's press conference. People are also criticizing local media for publishing a story that focuses on the violent past of Tamir's father. (More Tamir Rice stories.)

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