Tuesday 20 March 2018

No charges for police officer over killing of Tamir Rice (12) as judge coins it 'a perfect storm of human error'

Tamir E. Rice
Tamir E. Rice
Victim: Tamir Rice
A protest over the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland (AP)

A grand jury has declined to indict a white rookie police officer in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a black youngster who was shot to death while carrying what turned out to be a pellet gun.

Prosecutor Tim McGinty said it was "indisputable" the boy was drawing the weapon from his waistband when he was gunned down - either to hand it over to police or to show them it was not real.

Mr McGinty said there was no way for the officers on the scene to know that and he called it "a perfect storm of human error", but said no crime was committed.

Tamir was gunned down by patrolman Timothy Loehmann within two seconds of a police cruiser skidding to a stop near the boy outside a city recreation centre in Cleveland, Ohio, in November 2014.

Loehmann and his training partner Frank Garmback had responded to a 911 call about a man waving a gun.

Tamir was carrying a borrowed airsoft gun that looked like a real gun but shot non-lethal plastic pellets. It was missing its tell-tale orange tip.

A video of the shooting captured by a surveillance camera provoked outrage nationally and together with other killings of black people by police in places such as Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, it helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement.

The grand jury had been hearing evidence and testimony since mid-October.

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