Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun in a park last November when Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann arrived and, less than two seconds later, shot him. The person who called 911 had informed emergency dispatchers that it was probably just a toy.
Rice died in the hospital the next day.
The report was released on Thursday by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty and was prepared by law enforcement consultant W. Ken Katsaris. It states that while Rice’s death was “tragedy”, it would “also be a tragedy” if the officer responsible were to lose his job.
“Given the notice of the police presence to Rice, and the specific threatening actions of Rice toward the reported gun location area on his body, Rice’s actions provided no other alternative to Officer Loehmann than to apply deadly force,” the report reads.
“This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life, but to compound the tragedy by labeling the officers conduct as anything but objectively reasonable would also be a tragedy, albeit not carrying with it the consequences of the loss of life, only the possibility of loss of career,” Katsaris concluded.
New video, which was released along with the report, shows security camera footage from a different vantage point than the one previously made public.
The new information comes less than two weeks before the one-year anniversary of the shooting, on November 22.
“It’s apparent that these efforts are to justify his [McGinty’s] true intent; to inoculate the public and brace them for the ultimate decision, which is that there’s not going to be any indictment out of the grand jury,” attorney Walter Madison, who represents Rice’s father Leonard Warner, told the Guardian.
“I believe it is a complete evil misuse of a grand jury process he’s converted into a private, secret trial designed to exonerate these officers.”