A rookie Cleveland cop shot and killed Tamir Rice literally seconds after arriving at a park where the 12-year-old was carrying a BB gun. In disturbing new security video, released on Wednesday by police, officer Timothy Loehmann is seen exiting his police vehicle and almost immediately deciding to shoot the child.*
A rookie officer pulled the trigger, said Jeffrey Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association.
Police were sent to the Cudell Recreation Center at Detroit Avenue and West Boulevard about 3:30 p.m. when someone called 9-1-1 to report a “guy with a gun pointing it at people.”
The caller told dispatchers twice that the gun was “probably fake,” but that detail was not relayed to the responding officers, Follmer said.
The video was made public one day after the parents of Rice had sent out a letter asking the city’s Mayor Frank Jackson and the Cleveland Police Department to release the footage, NBC affiliate WKYC reported.
From the letter:
While we request the release of the complete video, we also ask for the media to give our family privacy as we continue to grieve and learn about what happened. We feel the actions of the patrol officer who took our son’s life must be made public.
It is our prayer and request for citizens in the City of Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio to remain calm at this time. We ask for the public to demonstrate peacefully.
Though the hurt our family feels is too painful for words to describe, we still have faith in the justice system. We thank the community for their prayers, encouragement and support. It has helped us during this difficult time.
Officials have said that the boy was shot when he pulled the pellet gun from his pants after he was told by cops to raise his hands, although he didn’t point the gun at the officers. The video appears to show that he was shot before he would have had time to point the gun, or raise his hands, anywhere.
*Correction, Nov. 27, 2014: This post originally misstated that the officer who shot Tamir Rice had not yet been named. The police released the name on Wednesday.