Cleveland boy's shooting by police 'unreasonable', family experts

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 29, 2015 2:48 PM

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A Cleveland police officer's shooting of a 12-year-old boy in a city park a year ago was unreasonable, experts hired by the child's family said in reports an attorney wants submitted to a grand jury considering charges in the case.

The reports over the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, who was black, by a white officer were released late Saturday shortly after a county prosecutor disclosed a frame-by-frame analysis of a security camera video of the November 2014 shooting.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury has been considering testimony over whether Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback should be charged in Rice's death.

Loehmann shot Rice twice within seconds of reaching the park in response to a 911 call reporting a man waving a gun. Rice died the next day. A dispatcher failed to tell the officers the caller had also said the person may have been a child playing.

Late Saturday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty released an analysis and timeline breaking down surveillance video into 326 photographs from before and after the shooting.

The analysis by expert Grant Fredericks of Forensic Video Solutions found that Rice's arm moved forward and toward his waist as the police car neared, a detail police experts have said creates "reasonable justification" for the shooting.

McGinty's office has said the release of videos and reports the grand jury is taking under consideration is aimed at making the investigative process more transparent.

An attorney for Rice's family, Subodh Chandra, released two expert reports late Saturday shortly after McGinty, saying the prosecutor's release of the analysis, and other reports previously, was highly prejudicial and inappropriate.

"The view expressed in those reports that the killing of Tamir Rice was reasonable and justified is nothing short of preposterous," Chandra said in a statement.

Jeffrey Noble, deputy chief of the Irvine and Westminster, California, police departments and Robert Clark, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy chief, called Rice's shooting unjustified, unreasonable and inconsistent with police practices.

Chandra has asked the reports be presented to the grand jury and has offered the experts to testify. Rice's family also has sought a special prosecutor for the case.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey)