An expert on police use of force said that the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice had no choice but to shoot the 12-year-old, according to a report released by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office.
This marks the third expert who says that Timothy Loehmann’s actions were justified. Currently, the county grand jury is hearing evidence to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against the officer. Rice was killed in November 2014 outside of a Cleveland recreation center.
"This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life," wrote W. Ken Katsaris in his report. "But to compound the tragedy by labeling the officers' conduct as anything but objectively reasonable would also be a tragedy."
Katsaris has a storied history with shootings of Black people in the Cleveland area. In 2012, he testified at the trial of patrolman Michael Brelo, who was charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter after a shooting killed two unarmed Black people. This past May, Brelo was acquitted of the charges.
Tamir’s family wants a special prosecutor to take over the case and their attorneys say the experts have been biased in favor of the police.
"Regrettably, with the release of yet another utterly biased and shamelessly misguided 'expert report' the County Prosecutor is making clear his intention to protect the police from accountability under the criminal laws, rather than diligently prosecute them," said Rice family attorney Jonathan Abady.
We will never forget these victims of violence from 2014.
(Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)