[Marxism] Police Gave Boy No Aid After Shooting in Cleveland
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
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
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
“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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