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Battling Experts – Tamir Rice Murder

This one is going the usual way – the Police and DA get “experts” to declare that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the actions of the Police in the Tamir Rice murder. The Family hires actual experts in the specific area of “use of force” who find there are some very seriously wrong things with the actions of the Police. The experts hired by the family think that the officers are guilty,  for the same reason I believe Officer Darren Wilson is guilty of killing MIchael Brown.

 

Expert reports ordered by Tamir Rice family attorneys call shooting ‘objectively unreasonable’

Attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice released reports Saturday from two use-of-force experts who determined the shooting of the 12-year-old boy by a Cleveland police officer was “objectively unreasonable.”

The reviews stand in direct contrast to three expert reports commissioned and released by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, who Tamir’s family, activists and religious leaders have repeatedly called to remove himself from the case.

Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra and the New York law firm of Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady have called McGinty’s expert reports “utterly biased and deeply flawed.” The attorneys represent Tamir’s mother in a pending civil lawsuit filed against the city, the two officers involved in the shooting and the Cleveland police department.

At the legal team’s request, police procedures consultant Roger Clark and former deputy police chief of the Irvine Police Department Jeffrey J. Noble, both California-based nationally renowned experts in police use-of-force issues, pored over investigative material and determined the shooting was not justified.

Clark and Noble, in a combined 31 pages of documents, reasoned that officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback placed themselves in harm’s way by driving within feet of Tamir and shooting him Nov. 22, 2014 outside the Cudell Recreation Center on Cleveland’s West Side.

They pointed to a 2008 U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the case of Kirby v. Duva that determined: “Where a police officer unreasonably places himself in harm’s way, his use of deadly force may be deemed excessive.”

The experts also partially blamed the shooting on a culture of corruption in the Cleveland police department that tolerates misconduct. They condemned the department for hiring Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot Tamir,  without examining his file from a former job that described him as an inept officer.

The officers’ poor tactical decision-making and systemic failures within the department resulted in a death of a child that was “completely avoidable…and should never have occurred,” Clark wrote.

The attorneys sent a letter to McGinty Saturday asking him to present their findings to the grand jury. The prosecutor invited the attorneys in June to offer input and evidence while a case for the grand jury is prepared.

McGinty after receiving the letter told cleveland.com that he would include the reports in the grand jury presentation.

“Our stated policy in all use of deadly force cases is to welcome all relevant evidence and let the grand jury evaluate and make the decision,” McGinty said. “This process is a wide open search for the truth.”

Clark’s and Noble’s analysis examined the officers’ tactics from the moment they were dispatched to the park.

The partners failed to follow police procedure that requires officers to develop a plan and call for backup before approaching a person who may be armed, the experts wrote.

“Reasonable police officers responding to a man-with-a-gun call would have stopped their vehicle prior to entering the park to visually survey the area to avoid driving upon a subject who may be armed,” Noble wrote.

Clark also noted that the officers couldn’t have known for sure whether Tamir was the subject being described by the 911 caller. The caller said the person was on the swings, but Tamir was seated at a table in the gazebo when police arrived.

“In my opinion there was nothing in the dispatch information that would positively identify Tamir as the certain target of the call to the responding officers,” Clark wrote.

Further, if the officers determined that Tamir was the suspect in question, the park surveillance video makes it clear that Tamir was not a threat, Clark wrote. The man who called 911 told a dispatcher that the person was pointing a gun at people and scaring them.

But the video shows that Tamir didn’t appear threatening as Loehmann and Garmback arrived, the experts said, and despite this, Garmback pulled the cruiser next to the gazebo.

The position of the car placed Loehmann, who was in the passenger’s seat, in a difficult position, Noble wrote. Loehmann was forced to make a split-second decision about whether to use deadly force because he had no cover.

The experts bolstered this opinion with a statement from Judge Ronald Adrine of the Cleveland Municipal Court, who in June announced that he found probable cause to charge Loehmann with murder and other counts.

“The video in question is notorious and hard to watch,” Adrine wrote. “After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly.”

But the fault was not just Garmback’s, the experts wrote. Loehmann also acted too quickly when he drew his gun and fired twice without warning.

While Loehmann has not provided an official statement in the investigation, a report from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department shows that Loehmann says that he yelled commands to Tamir before he shot him.

But the fact that Loehmann shot the boy within 1.7 seconds of exiting the car proves that he did not give any verbal commands to Tamir, much less give him time to act on them, Noble wrote. The video makes it clear that there was no time for a “meaningful exchange” between the two, he said.

All of this, they wrote, goes against a basic tenet of policing that deadly force should be used only as a last resort and when someone is in danger of dying or being seriously hurt…. Read Further Detail Here

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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