[Marxism] Police Gave Boy No Aid After Shooting in Cleveland

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 9 07:03:05 MST 2015

NY Times, Jan. 9 2015
Police Gave Boy No Aid After Shooting in Cleveland

The two Cleveland police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 
Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was carrying a pellet gun, stood by 
without rendering medical aid as the boy lay wounded next to their 
patrol car, a newly released extended surveillance video shows.

Then, about a minute and a half after one officer had shot Tamir, the 
other officer tackled the boy’s 14-year-old sister as she tried to reach 
her brother. Tamir was shot Nov. 22 after someone called 911 to report 
“a guy” who had been pointing a “probably fake” pistol outside a 
community recreation center on Cleveland’s west side.

The video, obtained by the Northeast Ohio Media Group, provided fresh 
detail about a shooting that roiled Cleveland and quickly became the 
latest shooting to be absorbed into a broader national narrative about 
police violence in African-American communities.

The surveillance tape also seemed to clarify an issue in the shooting 
investigation: that the officers provided no immediate medical 
assistance to Tamir, who was not pronounced dead until more than nine 
hours later at a Cleveland hospital. An autopsy by the Cuyahoga County 
medical examiner later found that Tamir died from a gunshot wound to the 
abdomen. In addition, it confirmed the account that Tamir’s mother, 
Samaria Rice, gave in the weeks after the shooting, that the police had 
tackled and detained her daughter as she rushed out of the recreation 
center, trying to reach her brother’s side.

After the second Cleveland officer, Frank Garmback, subdued Tamir’s 
sister — he pushed her to the ground back-first, tumbling on top of her 
in the process — the girl was handcuffed and put in the back of the 
police cruiser, a few feet from her brother.

The officers stood by without tending to Tamir, the extended video 
showed. It was not until four minutes after the shooting, the video 
showed, that Tamir received medical assistance when another man was seen 
bent down next to him. According to Benjamin Crump, the Rice family’s 
lawyer, the man who provided the first medical assistance was an F.B.I. 
agent who was in the neighborhood. Paramedics arrived eight minutes 
after the shooting, and Tamir was taken away on a stretcher about five 
minutes later, the video shows.

A shorter surveillance video released earlier showed Tamir being shot by 
a rookie Cleveland officer, Timothy Loehmann, seconds after the police 
cruiser arrived and skidded to a stop next to the boy at a gazebo 
outside the recreation center. The black pistol that Tamir had, which 
looked like a real handgun, was an imitation. His mother later said it 
had been given to Tamir to play with by a friend that afternoon.

The police said Tamir was told to raise his hands but instead reached to 
his waistband for the gun, though the previously released surveillance 
video showed that the shooting happened so fast, it was hard to know 
whether the officer issued any warnings or whether Tamir could have 
understood them if he did.

The killing, which occurred two weeks before a Justice Department report 
concluded that the Cleveland police had a pattern of “unreasonable and 
unnecessary use of force,” angered many residents of the city, which has 
a black majority. On Thursday, the city’s media relations director, Dan 
Williams, said the extended video was released once it was clear that it 
would not interfere with the investigation. “My intent was to get it out 
so the public could see all of the tape,” Mr. Williams said.

A Cleveland police spokeswoman said they could not comment because the 
shooting was under investigation. Officials from Cleveland’s main police 
union did not respond to a request for comment.

In an interview, Mr. Crump called the events on the video “outrageous 
and inhumane.”

“How inhumane to put her in handcuffs and sit her in the car about four 
feet from where her brother lay dying,” Mr. Crump said of Tamir’s 
sister, “and she has to watch that. And they rendered no aid to this kid.”

Family members thought it was important, Mr. Crump said, for “people see 
this video as they continue to fight for justice and see whether the 
grand jury will hold the police officer accountable.” Mr. Crump said an 
audio recording from a phone of someone at the recreation center 
indicated Tamir was alive when the officers were detaining his sister. 
The recording, he said, reveals that a teenager had tried to calm 
Tamir’s sister as she rushed to the shooting, saying: “He’s not dead. 
He’s still moving.”

Officer Loehmann, 26, who fired the fatal shot, had quit a suburban 
police force after his supervisors determined two years ago that he had 
had a “dangerous loss of composure” during firearms training and was 
emotionally unprepared to cope with stresses of the job. The Cleveland 
police acknowledged that they had never reviewed the previous police 
personnel file of Officer Loehmann.

Both officers have been placed on restricted duty.

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