Lawyers for the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy Cleveland police shot and killed last year, shared two outside reports Saturday that found the shooting to have been “unreasonable.” These new reports are at odds with three previously released by prosecutors that found the incident to have been “tragic” but “reasonable.”
The two new reports were written by former officials with law-enforcement agencies in California. According to the New York Times, a grand jury will consider all of the reports’ findings in its consideration of whether to indict police in Rice’s death.
Officer Tim Loehmann shot Rice just over a year ago, outside a recreation center in Cleveland, unholstering his weapon and firing within two seconds of exiting his patrol car. Rice was carrying a replica gun. Although Ohio is an open-carry state, the earlier reports nevertheless concluded that Officer Loehmann reasonably feared for his life.
“The officers engaged in reckless tactical decision making,” a former deputy police chief in Irvine, California, Jeffrey Noble wrote, the Times reports. “They unreasonably placed themselves in harm’s way and Officer Loehmann’s use of deadly force was excessive, objectively unreasonable, and inconsistent with generally accepted police practices.”
“The killing of this child was completely avoidable and preventable,” a former lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Roger Clark, wrote, “and should never have occurred.”