Human Rights

The Police Killing of Pre-Teen Tamir Rice Wasn't Reasonable, It Was a Heartless Murder Backed By Lies

Here are seven reasons why Officer Timothy Loehmann should be fired immediately and charged with his murder.
On November 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland Police while he was playing in his local neighborhood park. Now, a full 11 months after his death, prosecutors who claim they're still investigating the case have started leaking random "expert" reports they commissioned, stating that the murder was reasonable.

Really? What the hell does reasonable mean? Because this shooting was anything but reasonable.

Released on a Saturday night, these reports appear to be prepping the city for the reality that the prosecutor's office has little intention of presenting charges to the grand jury.

Here are seven reasons why the police murder of Tamir Rice was completely unreasonable, and Officer Timothy Loehmann should be fired immediately and charged with his murder. You must consider all of the facts in concert with one another to see just how criminal Rice's murder truly was.

1.Years before Officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Tamir Rice, he was fired from his local police department in Independence, Ohio, just 12 miles away from Cleveland.

In their final report on his termination, which included statements on his poor performance in gun training, his extreme emotional instability, and his willingness to lie, his supervising officers detailed infraction after infraction and concluded "I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies."

There's much more.

 

2. Between 2010 and 2012, multiple police departments including the New York Police Department refused to hire Officer Timothy Loehmann. Just five months after he was hired by the Independence Police Department, he was fired. In the months that followed, Loehmann applied for new police jobs in Akron, Euclid, and Parma Heights, Ohio, and was turned down by each of them.

Then, in September 2013, Loehmann failed the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department written entrance exam, with a failing score of 46 out of 100. Note: 70 is the minimum score allowable for entrance. Mind you, this was after he had already served as a police officer for five months and been terminated.

3. The Cleveland Police Department was criminally negligent when it hired Officer Timothy Loehmann without checking his work history and the devastatingly relevant recommendations from his previous supervising officers, in which they detailed the exact deficiencies that would eventually lead to the death of Tamir Rice.

The Cleveland Police Department now admits it failed to check Loehmann's background when they hired him. Their response, giving one supervising officer a two-day suspension and another officer a write-up in his file, amounts to a proverbial "oopsie."

Two Cleveland police supervisors who hired the officer who later shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice have been disciplined.

Lt. Gail Bindel and Sgt. Edwin Santiago "failed to adequately supervise and review an applicant's background investigation" and were found guilty of administrative charges including neglect of duty, according to documents.

Bindel was suspended for two days, and Santiago received a written reprimand, according to the letters dated July 9.

4. Apparently not knowing they were being filmed when they spoke to their police union reps and supervising officers the day of the shooting, the officers who killed Rice made egregiously false claims about what happened.

a. To create an atmosphere of intimidation, police falsely stated that Tamir Rice was sitting at a picnic table with several other people right before he came and confronted them.

This was never true. Nobody else ever sat at that table with Rice or could've been mistaken as such. The 911 calls never said such a thing either. It's a total fabrication. Here he is just three seconds before the police pull up and shoot him.

Here's the false report from the day Rice died—before police knew a video existed.

Police were responding to reports of a male with a gun outside Cudell Recreation Center at Detroit Avenue and West Boulevard about 3:30 p.m., Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba said.

A rookie officer and a 10-15 year veteran pulled into the parking lot and saw a few people sitting underneath a pavilion next to the center.

b. Police then falsely claimed that right before they shot Rice, he pulled a very real-looking BB gun out on them. In fact, this was the headline and the dominant narrative of the day Rice died. The video had not yet been released, so it really ruled early on.

 

The police chief and police union spokesperson both came out publicly to back this claim.

It's a complete fabrication.

The rookie officer saw a black gun sitting on the table, and he saw the boy pick up the gun and put it in his waistband, Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Jeffrey Follmer said.

The officer got out of the car and told the boy to put his hands up. The boy reached into his waistband, pulled out the gun and the rookie officer fired two shots, Tomba said.

First, see the actual video for yourself.

 

 

Now that you've seen it, the lies told by police are obvious.

Notice that they said they saw the scene so well, that they saw a gun on the table next to Rice. However, they also said they saw multiple other people sitting there as well.

Let me get this right: oYu saw imaginary people, but also saw a six-inch gun on the table?

Also, the officers claimed they repeatedly told Rice to put his hands up but he refused. Except he was shot in .792 seconds from the time the door to the police car opened.

Demonstrate that with your own voice and the stopwatch on your phone. How many times can you say, "Put your hands up" in .792 seconds. Now imagine saying it, giving them time to comply, and shooting someone. The Cleveland Police are claiming this all took place in .792 seconds. It's a physical impossibility.

5. Nothing could be more important than this: Tamir Rice did not pull a gun out on police. Not only that, but the day he died, police brought the gun out, showed how it did not have a bright neon tip, and stated that police, in a short period of time, could not tell the difference.

Except that when Rice was shot, they never saw the tip of the gun in the first place. This is a false flag, a ruse, a concoction, a fabrication.

6. Few outlets have honestly reported how heinous the crucial minutes were that followed police shooting Tamir Rice in the stomach. Mind you, he survived until the next day, but after Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice, he and his partner, Officer Garmback, completely ignored him.

Even after discovering that the gun was definitively a BB gun, they didn't hold his hand, attend to the gaping hole that ripped through his stomach and intestines, or comfort him in any way whatsoever. When Rice's 15-year-old sister arrived on the scene and saw her brother dying, they tackled her and locked her in the police car parked right next to Rice's body.

They continued to ignore Rice as he bled out on the snow for four minutes. In fact, the officers who killed Rice never tended to him. It wasn't until an FBI agent arrived on the scene that the boy received an ounce of attention or compassion.

Here's a second-by-second timeline of what happened.

 

 
0:00 - 0:07 :: We see Rice sitting at the park tables, hanging out, alone. His sister, who is also at the park, is out of sight of the camera.

0:08 - 0:16 :: We see Rice get up from table and begin calmly walking toward what we soon see is the police car.

0:17 :: The police car, driven by Officer Frank Garmback, first comes to a full stop, just feet away from Tamir Rice.

0:18 :: Within one second of the car stopping, Officer Timothy Loehmann opens his door and shoots Tamir Rice in the stomach without even fully getting out of the vehicle.

0:18 :: Tamir Rice is seen falling down from being shot.

0:20 :: Officer Timothy Loehmann, having gotten out of the passenger side, twists his ankle and falls down. Officer Garmback gets out of the driver's side of the vehicle.

0:20 - 1:40 :: Officer Loehmann literally stands behind the vehicle and massages his ankle for 80 seconds.

1:01 :: Officer Garmback can be seen using his radio to call dispatch.

NOTE :: Tamir Rice fought for his life in the hospital until the following day.

1:41 :: Tajai Rice, Tamir's 14-year-old sister, who was in the restroom when the shooting happened, is seen running to him from the left side of the screen.

1:44 :: Tajai Rice is tackled by Officer Frank Garmback.

1:46 :: Officer Loehmann comes over to assist Garmback.

1:48 - 2:45 :: Officer Loehmann stands by Tamir but does nothing at all.

1:51 - 3:00 :: Garmback and a new officer attempt to subdue Rice's 14-year-old sister, Tajai.

NOTE :: A cell phone video was just released from this exact point in time.

3:01 :: Visiting officer attempts to lift Tajai off the ground and carry her, and she fights back. Her little brother is dying just feet away from her.

3:22 :: Apparently handcuffed, the police lock Rice's sister, Tajai, in the back of the police car.

3:37 - 4:10 :: All three officers on the scene can be visibly witnessed just standing around, talking, away from Rice, as he fights for his life. None of them is remotely interested in him, nor do anything to care for him or offer any type of aid. His sister is locked in the car as he suffers alone.

4:01 :: A black sedan is seen pulling up. We later learn this is an FBI agent who was in the neighborhood and heard the call in his car.

4:07 :: The plain-clothes FBI agent walks briskly onto the scene, speaks quickly to the officers, and immediately goes to Rice.

4:17 :: The FBI agent crouches down to Rice and is not seen getting back up for several minutes.

In essence, the FBI agent did exactly what the officers on the scene, or any decent human being would've done. Zero rationale whatsoever exists that could ever explain why the Cleveland Police officers completely ignored Tamir Rice. He was a kid who was bleeding to death.

Imagine for a moment a scenario in which you would shoot someone in the stomach and ignore their well-being for four minutes. Did you do it? Now, could you think of doing such a thing to a person that you cared about or wanted to live? I didn't think so.

7. After they shot Tamir Rice, lied about it, and ignored him as he fought to survive, police confirmed what they truly thought about this sweet boy in the days and weeks that followed. They called him a menace, stated that he looked like a man (the photo above was taken the month before he was killed), and that he caused his own death. In all of this, they have confirmed just how truly awful they are as people.

---
Perhaps the only people who could look at these facts and determine that what happened to Tamir Rice was "reasonable" would be fellow law enforcement officers. In fact, the only person who was reasonable on that day was Tamir.

 

Shaun King is a member of the DailyKos contributor community. 

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