Rookie Cop: Tamir 'Gave Me No Choice'

County prosecutor's report released about Tamir Rice shooting
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2015 2:10 PM CDT
Rookie Cop: Tamir 'Gave Me No Choice'
This undated photo provided by the family's attorney shows Tamir Rice.    (AP Photo/Courtesy Richardson & Kucharski Co., L.P.A.)

Did rookie cop Timothy Loehmann shout a warning before gunning down 12-year-old Tamir Rice last November? A newly released report doesn't quote Loehmann directly—he and his partner wouldn't talk to sheriff's investigators—but other officers say he did yell commands and felt he had to shoot Rice, who carried a realistic-looking BB gun in a Cleveland park, WKYC reports. "He gave me no choice," an officer quotes him as saying. "He reached for the gun and there was nothing I could do." Another says that according to Loehmann, "They arrived on scene, was yelling commands at the kid, they stopped the car, the kid went for the firearm and tried to pull it out." But no witness quoted in the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's report describes hearing any warnings before the shooting, the Guardian reports.

One, a 31-year-old woman, says she heard "Freeze! Show me your hands" but only after two bullets were fired. The shooting happened just two seconds after Loehmann jumped out of his cruiser, apparently injuring his ankle, the report says. The report also describes an FBI agent happening upon the scene, giving first aid to Tamir, and saying the officers seemed unsure of what to do next. Another quirk: The emergency operator who took the original 911 call, about someone scaring people with a gun, didn't relay the caller's information that the gunman was likely a juvenile with a fake weapon—but didn't say why she held that information back, the New York Times reports. A grand jury will likely hear the evidence in the next few weeks or months and decide whether to press charges against the two officers. (More police shooting stories.)

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