The Cleveland police officer who gunned down Tamir Rice last November, says that the 12-year-old left him “no choice” but to shoot. On Saturday, Cuyunga County prosecutor Tim McGinty released the 250-page investigation into Rice’s death, which included Officer Timothy Loehmann’s account of what happened.
Loehmann and his partner were responding to a call about Rice playing with what was believed to be a real firearm. In a video recording of the shooting, Loehmman is seen firing at the child within two seconds of pulling up to the park where he was playing with the toy gun.
According to the report, Loehmann said Rice instigated the situation. "He gave me no choice,” Lehmann told another officer after shooting the child. “He reached for the gun and there was nothing I could do.”
Both Loehmann and his partner refused interviews with the sheriff’s, although the shooting officer was said to be “distraught” after killing Rice, notes USA Today.
The Rice investigation documents were compiled after a four-month investigation by the Cuyunga County Sherrif’s office. “”Transparency (i.e., the actual facts) is essential for an intelligent discussion of the important issues raised by this case," McGinty said. “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.”
A grand jury will review the documents, and decide whether Lehmann should be charged in the shooting death. On Thursday, a Cleveland judge determined that there was probable cause to charge Loehmann with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)
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