The family of a young Black boy shot and killed by a Cleveland rookie cop said the 12-year-old would still be alive had the officer not acted so quickly, AP reports.
A statement released by the attorneys of Tamir Rice’s family points to a surveillance video, which shows the boy being shot at a local park within 1.5 to 2 seconds of the patrol officers arriving on the scene last Saturday. Rice is also seen reaching in his waistband for what police later confirmed to be a non-lethal pellet gun.
The distance between the shooting officer and Rice remains unclear.
"It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us," said the family in a statement. "The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly.”
The family also urged Cleveland police and Cuyahoga County prosecutors to “thoroughly examine” what happened that day.
Patrol officers Timothy Loehmann, 26, and Frank Garmback, 46, were identified Wednesday as the cops involved in the shooting and have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Loehmann, the officer who fatally shot Rice, is a rookie who started his career in Cleveland on March 3, AP reports. Garmback has been with the department for six years.
Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the video of the incident was released by the city at the request of Rice’s family.
"This is not an effort to exonerate. It's not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong," Tomba said. "This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We've got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do.”
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(Photo: Lynn Ischay/The Plain Dealer /Landov )