Cop Who Killed Tamir Rice Makes Absurd Claim: 'He Gave Me No Choice'

Human Rights

The Cleveland cop who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice has figured out a way to attempt to blame the child for his own death. He claims the boy refused to obey demands that he drop the toy gun he was playing with at the time of the shooting, USA Today reports.

"He gave me no choice. He reached for the gun and there was nothing I could do," Officer Timothy Loehmann told a fellow officer in the moments after he shot Tamir, according to a report by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty that was released Saturday.

There were no witnesses cited in McGinty’s report who heard McGinty yell any warnings to boy before shooting him. The video shows Loehmann shooting the boy within seconds after arriving on the scene, which on its face seems inconsistent with claims that he gave Tamir several warnings.

Another detail in the report notes that neither Officer Loehmann or his partner, Frank Garmback, had a first aid kit or training, according to an FBI agent who was in the area at the time of the shooting and gave first aid to the boy.

"I think it was a very difficult situation for him to deal with and ... probably now as the adrenaline was wearing off, I think the realization is kicking in that he just had to shoot somebody," the agent said.

Tamir was critically shot twice in the abdomen.

"He turned over and acknowledged and looked at me, and he like reached for my hand," the agent said.

The agent added that Loehmann and Garmback seemed helpless at the scene.

"It's an incredibly disturbing injury to look at," he said. "And ... you could see the level of concern in (the officers). I don't think they knew what to do."

A Cleveland judge ruled Thursday that there is probable cause to charge Loehmann with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and dereliction of duty, the New York Times. Judge Ronald B. Adrine, presiding judge of the Municipal Court, also found probable cause to charge Garmback with with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.

“This court determines that complaints should be filed by the prosecutor of the City of Cleveland and/or the Cuyahoga County prosecutor,” Judge Adrine wrote.

He had this to say about video of the shooting: “The video in question in this case is notorious and hard to watch,” Judge Adrine wrote in his order, according to The New York Times. “After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly,” he wrote.

Judge Adrine, however, doesn’t have the power to order Garmback or Loehmann’s arrests without the prosecutor filing a complaint first.

Tamir was shot Nov. 22, which was nearly seven months ago. Neither officer has been charged in connection to his shooting.


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