Crime & Justice

Cleveland prosecutor's report: Tamir Rice borrowed pellet gun from friend

Activist Art McCoy holds a photo of Tamir Rice before a protest march at Cudell Park in Cleveland, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. The 12-year-old was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer last year after he reportedly pulled a replica gun at the city park.
Activist Art McCoy holds a photo of Tamir Rice before a protest march at Cudell Park in Cleveland, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. The 12-year-old was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer last year after he reportedly pulled a replica gun at the city park.
Mark Duncan/AP

Prosecutors in Cleveland have released details of their investigation into the fatal police shooting in November of black youth Tamir Rice, who was brandishing what turned out to be a pellet gun.

Police were responding to a 911 report of someone waving a weapon around outside a recreational center. Within seconds of arriving on the scene, Officer Timothy Loehmann, 26, had shot and fatally wounded 12-year-old Tamir, who had pulled the gun — which shoots non-lethal rubber pellets — from his waistband.

Among the findings in the report are:

In justifying the release of the report, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said in a statement that "Transparency (i.e., the actual facts) is essential for an intelligent discussion of the important issues raised by this case.

"If we wait years for all litigation to be completed before the citizens are allowed to know what actually happened, we will have squandered our best opportunity to institute needed changes in use of force policy, police training and leadership," he said.

Last week, a judge in Cleveland recommended charges against officers Loehmann with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide or dereliction of duty and Garmback with reckless homicide or dereliction of duty. However, the decision is largely symbolic because Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine has no authority to compel prosecutors to charge the officers.

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