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Tag Archives: Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice Murder and Cover up Cost Cleveland Taxpayers $6 Million

Despite crooked DA’s running fake Grand Juries, the Civil Courts have become another issue for cities insistent on protecting murderous Cops. While Cleveland hasn’t quite caught up with Chicago on the taxpayer burden for bad policing, there may be no shortage of cases entering the docket.

I am thinking that one of these cities needs to be hit for about $50 million before any serious effort at reform will come about.

Tamir Rice

City of Cleveland to pay $6 million to Tamir Rice’s family to settle lawsuit

The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay Tamir Rice’s family $6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed over the boy’s November 2014 shooting death by city police.

The settlement, announced Monday, does not resolve all of the lingering legal issues surrounding the 12-year-old’s killing. However, it is a sign that both the city and the boy’s family did not want to endure what could be tension-filled and expensive litigation process that could last years.

The settlement was revealed via a court filing from U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who presided over settlement talks.

Tamir Rice’s estate will receive $5.5 million, Samaria Rice, the boy’s mother, and his sister Tajai Rice will each receive $250,000. Neither the city, officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback nor dispatchers involved will admit to any wrongdoing. The city will pay $3 million this year and $3 million in 2017.

(You can read the court filing here or at the bottom of this story.)

The settlement must be approved by a Cuyahoga County Probate Court judge before it is final.

The amount the family will receive is in line with amounts paid in other high profile police use-of-force cases nationally in the past year. For example, the city of Chicago in 2015 paid $5 million to the family of Laquan McDonald before a lawsuit was even filed over his police shooting death.

And the city of Baltimore agreed to pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, whose neck was broken in a police van in April 2015.

Attorneys representing the Rice family say that while the settlement is “historic in financial terms, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of a life.”

The statement continues, “in a situation such as this, there is no such thing as closure or justice. Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who  knew and loved him that can never be filled.” …More Here

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Cleveland Sues Tamir Rice Family for Ambulance Bill

The victims get a bill from the city whose police murdered their son!

The Thug in this case is the City of Cleveland

‘Insult to Homicide’: Cleveland Sues Tamir Rice’s Family for Ambulance Fees

The city has filed a suit demanding $500 in payment for emergency treatment for the boy after a police officer fatally shot him.

What’s more outrageous than having a police officer shoot an unarmed 12-year-old, failing to provide medical care, keeping his family forcibly from the scene, and then declining to indict the officer for the death? In most cases, little. But the city of Cleveland has found a way: It is suing Tamir Rice’s family for not paying the ambulance bill after a Cleveland cop shot and killed the boy in November 2014.

As the Scene reports, Cleveland has filed a claim in probate court, seeking $500 from Rice’s estate to pay for emergency medical services rendered after Officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shot the boy. The charge is especially galling because Loehmann and another officer apparently had no training or equipment to provide aid to Rice after they shot him. They did nothing for four minutes until an FBI agent who happened to be nearby took over.

“The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill—its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir—is breathtaking,” Subodh Chandra, a Rice family attorney, said in a statement. “This adds insult to homicide.”

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in American Genocide, BlackLivesMatter

 

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Tamir Rice Grand Jury Irregularity

It now appears that the Tamir Rice Grand Jury my not have been legal…And that no Vote of the Jury as required by law was ever taken. This further reinforces the belief that the entire thing was a sham, set up by the prosecutor…

Report: Tamir Rice Grand Jury Never Actually Voted on Whether to Indict Officers

The grand jury that declined to indict two police officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice never actually voted on whether to bring charges, an investigative report from Cleveland says, leaving open the question of how the controversial decision was actually reached.

The alt-weekly Cleveland Scene‘s report revolves around the concept of the “no-bill,” which is the name for a grand jury’s formal decision—arrived at by voting—not to bring charges in a given case. (The opposite of a “no-bill” is a “true bill,” i.e. a decision to indict.) When Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced on Dec. 28 that officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback would not be charged in Rice’s death, he said only that the grand jury “declined to indict” the officers, leading many observers to assume that a no-bill had been voted on. But the Cleveland Scene‘s reporters could find no documentation of such a decision, and a spokesman for the Cuyahoga prosecutor’s office responded to the publication’s queries by saying that there had been no vote.

Two area law professors told the Scene they had never heard of a grand jury behaving in such a way. What’s more, reporters were unable to find any official documentation in the Cleveland court system of the grand jury having concluded its business:

We were then directed to the Cuyahoga County grand jury office. Wednesday morning, a clerk there told Scene that the “mysterious document” may or may not exist and that, even if it does, it could only be provided to us via court order by Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo … Russo, who spoke to Scene by phone, professed to be as confused as we were. “When you say ‘document,’ I’m not sure what you mean. I don’t know what that is. It’s either a true bill or a no bill,” he said.

But actually, no.

His staff determined Wednesday that a “no-bill” had never been filed.

What any of this means for Rice’s case is unclear. A lawyer representing the Rice family said the lack of a no-bill could constitute another indication that McGinty—who formally recommended against indicting Loehmann and Garmback andpresented expert reports to the grand jury that backed up his recommendation—had not taken the idea of prosecution seriously.

A federal investigation into Rice’s death is reportedly ongoing; Rice’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers involved.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Tamir Rice Would Be Alive If He Were White

This is one of the most scathing editorials I have ever seen. From the Editorial Board at the New York Times…

No it ain’t real. It has an extra “safety” on the slide which doesn’t exist on the real model, the attachment rail on the bottom is a dead giveaway, and it’s plastic, not blued steel

This is one of hundreds of variations of the real deal. I own several of these in various calibers, including two set up for competition. They are big, heavy, and not designed for “concealed carry” as they were designed for the Military.

 

Cleveland’s Terrible Stain

Tamir Rice of Cleveland would be alive today had he been a white 12-year-old playing with a toy gun in just about any middle-class neighborhood in the country on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 2014.

But Tamir, who was shot to death by a white police officer that day, had the misfortune of being black in a poor area of Cleveland, where the police have historically behaved as an occupying force that shoots first and asks questions later. To grow up black and male in such a place is to live a highly circumscribed life, hemmed in by forces that deny your humanity and conspire to kill you.

Those forces hovered over the proceedings on Monday when a grand jury declined to indict Officer Timothy Loehmann in the killing and Timothy McGinty, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, explained why he had asked the grand jurors to not bring charges. Mr. McGinty described the events leading up to Tamir’s death as tragic series of errors and “miscommunications” that began when a 911 caller said a male who was “probably a juvenile” was waving a “probably fake” gun at people in a park.

The fact that those caveats never reached Officer Loehmann — who shot the child within seconds of arriving on the scene — was more than just an administrative misstep. It reflects an utter disregard for the lives of the city’s black residents. That disregard pervades every aspect of this case and begins with the fact that the department failed to even review Officer Loehmann’s work history before giving him the power of life and death over the citizens of Cleveland. Had the department done so, it would have found that Officer Loehmann had quit a suburban police department where he had showed a “dangerous loss of composure” during firearms training and was found to be emotionally unfit for the stress of the job.

Officer Loehmann joined a police department that itself had acquired a well-documented reputation for wanton violence and for shooting at people who posed no threat to the police or others. In a particularly striking event, documented by the Justice Department last year, officers mistook the sound of a car backfiring for a gunshot. They chased down and fired at the vehicle 137 times, killing two occupants who turned out to be unarmed.

The lengthy Justice Department report shows clearly why the black community viewed the Cleveland police as dangerous and profoundly out of control. In May, the Police Department entered an agreement with the Justice Department, enforceable by the courts, under which it is to adopt sweeping reforms.

The Police Department’s disregard for life was fully evident in the way the officers behaved after shooting Tamir. A surveillance video shows them standing by the child for four minutes without giving medical assistance, which was finally provided by an F.B.I. agent who happened to be in the neighborhood. Officer Frank Garmback, Officer Loehmann’s partner, nonetheless tackled the wounded boy’s 14-year-old sister as she tried to rush to his side. One can only imagine her suffering as she watched in handcuffs from the back seat of the squad car while her brother lay bleeding on the ground.

In addition to portraying the killing as a result of a tragic misunderstanding, prosecutors have also suggested the officer’s decision to kill Tamir was shaped by the fact that the surrounding neighborhood had a history of violence and that the boy appeared to be older than 12 because he was big for his age.

These arguments sidestep the history of violent, discriminatory police actions that led up to this boy’s death. They also have the reprehensible effect of shifting the responsibility for this death onto the shoulders of this very young victim.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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The Faux News Tom Squad Dances on Tamir’s Grave

The goal here being to point responsibility anywhere except at their Massa’s.

Here is Uncle Charles Payne, and Uncle Rod Wheeler.

The issue here is the protesting police violence isn’t “ridiculing”, as Uncle Charles bleats. The “Ferguson Effect” has been well discredited, and systemically and completely blown up as a false canard. Supporting the Police, and holding them responsible to competently do their jobs are not incongruous. Why exactly do conservatives believe that competence is not necessary for only Police to do their jobs?  Here we have the standard, conservative racist false equivalency arguments spewed by their reliable Lawn Jockeys.

What I believe needs to happen here is a lot less marching and whimpering in the streets and a lot more lawsuits in the courthouse. At least to my admittedly limited understanding, it seems a case can be made that the systematic failure to enforce accountability is a violation of citizen Civil Rights, and a dereliction of legal and Constitutional duty by the Courts and local prosecutors. Can’t win that one in today’s Supreme Court ruled by the Scumbag 5 – but with any luck in the 4-5 years it takes to wind through the lower courts, one or more of the Scumbag 5 will die of natural causes and be replaced by a Democrat President shifting the balance towards a legitimate court ruling by the Law instead of political affiliation.

The way the Old Jim Crow was disassembled was though continuous and well thought out pressure and repeated demands in the Courts. Perhaps I am uninformed – but I am not seeing that yet.

Uncle Tom Lackey Supported of the Week Award.

Black Conservative Jock Strap Award

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2015 in Black Conservatives, Faux News

 

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Bernie Call for Federal Investigation of Tamir Rice Murder

After the scathing report by the DOJ on the Cleveland Police Department’s tactics and systemic brutality – I think there needs to be a bit more than just an investigation of the Police Department. I think the District Attorney’s office needs to be looked at really hard, and in particular the prosecutor in the Grand Jury case that decided not to prosecute. Something is wrong here. Something is wrong when a prosecutor acts as a Defense Attorney, instead of a prosecutor.

Bernie Sanders wants federal probe of Tamir Rice case: ‘We need to take a hard look’ at police use of force

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was critical on Monday of an Ohio grand jury’s decision not to indict two police officers in connection with the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

“I think we need to have a federal investigation to take a look at that. But I will also tell you that we need, nationally, to take a hard look at the use of force,” he told MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry.

Sanders, who is campaigning for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, said that while he feels police have an impossible job, “as a nation, we have got to recognize that lethal force should be the last response, not the first response — and we’re seeing too much, I think, [shootings] in this country.”

The senator also renewed his criticism of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who seemingly reversed course earlier in the day from complaining that wages were “too high” to signalling support for increasing wages.

“What Trump is telling the American people is that low wages are good,” Sanders told Harris-Perry. “That’s good for America. What he is telling the American people is he wants to see hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the .2 of 1 percent, and that’s the word we have got to get out to working class people who are inclined to support Trump: it’s old-fashioned trickle-down economics — the rich will get richer under Trump’s ideas, and the middle class will continue to decline.”

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Van Jones and the Tamir Rice Murder Coverup

Activist Laura Cowan –

 

CNN contributor Van Jones slammed Cuyahoga County, Ohio Prosecutor Timothy McGinty on Monday for what he called his office’s failure to find any reason to charge two police officers in connection with the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice last November.

“That is completely preposterous on its face,” Jones said. “And yet, this prosecutor went above and beyond the call of duty to spend extra money and took extra time to get these cops off. Prosecutors do not act this way under ordinary circumstances. Usually, they throw the book at you and then they tell you, ‘You explain to a judge and jury why you’re innocent. This particular prosecutor did the opposite of most prosecutors in this case.”

McGinty announced on Monday that a grand jury decided not to indict officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann, who drove close to the boy as he wielded an air pellet gun. Video of the incident shows Loehmann shooting and killing Rice almost instantly after jumping out of his patrol car.

However, Jones said, McGinty brought experts in to testify to the jury on behalf of the officers, a marked departure from the norm.

“To say that nothing happened here, nothing happened that should go to a jury — how about this: no medical aid after the kid is killed? How about criminal medical neglect?” Jones asked. “How about the fact that, under ordinary circumstances, a police officer would never put themselves in peril and then shoot their way out? The fact that the police officer drove into peril and then shot his way out — there’s not a traffic ticket you could issue? There’s not a misdemeanor here?”

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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Tamir Rice Murderer Let Off

Here we go again with special injustice…

No Indictment For Cop Who Fatally Shot 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice

The decision came nearly 400 days after the boy was killed while playing in a Cleveland park.

An Ohio grand jury has declined to indict the Cleveland police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black 12-year-old in 2014.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced the decision Monday afternoon, nearly 400 days since rookie patrolman Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir Rice after responding to the scene with veteran officer Frank Garmback. The grand jury also declined to indict Garmback.

In statements filed with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, both officers claimed they repeatedly yelled at Tamir to “show me your hands.” But surveillance video shows that Loehmann opened fire within two seconds of emerging from the police cruiser driven by Garmback.

McGinty on Monday called Tamir’s death a “perfect storm of human error,” not a criminal act.

“The outcome will not cheer anyone,” McGinty said, but he noted that Loehmann’s assessment that he was about to be shot was “a mistaken but sincere belief” given the stress of the situation.

“It would be irresponsible and unreasonable if law required a police officer to wait and see if the gun was real,” McGinty said. 

On Nov. 22, 2014, Loehmann and Garmback were dispatched to investigate 911 calls about a “guy with a gun” pulling a weapon from his waistband and pointing it at people. The gun was later determined to be an airsoft pellet gun.

Officers said they believed Tamir to be a man in his 20s, given his size, and said the orange safety tip on his toy gun was missing. An expert hired by McGinty’s office conceded in a November report that dispatchers should have relayed to responding officers the 911 caller’s observations that “the guy with a gun” was “probably a juvenile” and that the gun was “probably fake.”

Tamir’s family reportedly was not briefed on the outcome of the grand jury investigation before Monday’s announcement, but it was an end they had anticipated. 

In a statement released immediately after the announcement of no indictment, Jonathan Abady, an attorney for Tamir’s family, said they were “saddened and disappointed” by the outcome, but not surprised. The family also renewed their calls for the Justice Department to make an independent investigation into the case.

“It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment,” Abady said in the statement. “Even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, Prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers and tell the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified. It is unheard of, and highly improper, for a prosecutor to hire ‘experts’ to try to exonerate the targets of a grand jury investigation.”

Tamir’s family and their advocates have been highly critical of McGinty’s office during what they considered an unreasonably lengthy and biased investigation.

McGinty’s office released three expert reports over the past few months, all of which concluded Tamir’s fatal shooting to be “reasonable.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) in a statement Monday called Tamir’s death a “heartbreaking tragedy” but urged the community not to give in to “anger and frustration.”

“We have made progress to improve the way communities and police work together in our state, and we’re beginning to see a path to positive change so everyone shares in the safety and success they deserve,” Kasich said.

The Justice Department said Monday it would continue its review of the case and “determine what actions are appropriate, given the strict burdens and requirements imposed by applicable federal civil rights laws.”

In May, the DOJ concluded an 18-month investigation into the Cleveland Police Department. Its scathing report found that officers in Cleveland routinely use unjustifiable force against not only criminals and suspects, but also innocent victims of crimes.

McGinty’s office on Monday took pains to note that officers face deadly threats in the line of duty and called for “deference” to the officer’s on-the-scene judgment of how much force is necessary.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Tamir Rice – Racist Trolls Destroy Comments Section

Coordinated attacks by racist trolls on comments sections aren’t unusual anymore. Here, the Cleveland Newspaper discovers just how damaging to sensible discussion they are…

 

Cleveland paper nixes Tamir Rice comment section: ‘A small army’ couldn’t stop the ‘cesspool’ of racism

The Cleveland Plain Dealer explained this week that it had disabled comments on all of its stories about a 12-year-old black child who was shot by police because “a small army” of administrators could not delete the racist comments fast enough.

In a column on Monday, Chris Quinn, the Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Vice President of Content, said that the paper had hoped that articles about the shooting of Tamir Rice would be “an ideal subject for us to meet one of our chief goals at cleveland.com, hosting community conversations on topics of widespread interest.”

But he noted that comments had been disabled in October because “we don’t fancy our website as a place of hate, and the Tamir Rice story has been a magnet for haters.”

“We enlisted a small army on our staff to monitor the comments and delete any that violated our standards,” Quinn wrote. “The trouble was that we couldn’t keep up. Just about every piece we published about Tamir immediately became a cesspool of hateful, inflammatory or hostile comments.”

“Rather than discuss the facts of the case, many commenters debased the conversation with racist invective. Or they made absurd statements about the clothing and appearance of people involved in the story. Or they attacked each other for having contrasting viewpoints. In many cases, well over half of the comments on Tamir stories broke our rules and had to be deleted.”

Observing that the comments were “overrun as they were by wickedness,” the staff decided to shut down the comment section on stories about Rice.

Quinn pointed out that some had tried to move their “odious comments” to unrelated stories, and that those users’ accounts were deleted.

At the time of publication, Quinn’s column had nearly 1,500 comments, and a number of them had already been removed for violating the paper’s commenting policy.

 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in The Definition of Racism

 

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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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Is “The Fix” In on the Tamir Rice Investigation?

Commented that the two “experts” hired by the DA were questionable, at best in my last blog on this. In June, a judge found “ample probable cause” for the DA to file charges…But so far no charges have been filed.

Further, in the Kangaroo Grand Jury, neither officer has been requested to testify.

Things appear to following the path of the Michael Brown Grand Jury.

Is the grand jury process stacked in favor of the cop who killed the 12-year-old?

Tamir Rice’s sister and mother at the park where the 12-year-old was gunned down.

On Saturday, October 10, the prosecutor overseeing the Tamir Rice grand jury investigation released two reports authored by independent experts and concluding that Timothy Loehmann, the cop who killed the 12-year-old African American boy in Cleveland last November, acted within the law. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, knew this was an unusual move to make during grand jury proceedings. “Historically, the norm in most places has been that there’s an incident, and then a long investigation shrouded in secrecy, followed by a conclusion that sometimes mystifies large segments of the public,” a spokesperson for McGinty’s office told Mother Jones regarding the publication of the two reports. “We’re trying to break that pattern.”

But the reports have sparked outrage from Rice’s family and supporters, who saythe grand jury investigation amounts to “a charade aimed at whitewashing” and are demanding that a special prosecutor take over the case. Some legal experts suggest that the reports could improperly influence the pool of people serving on the grand jury, who began hearing evidence in recent weeks and will ultimately determine whether Loehmann should face charges. The development adds to a cloud of questions hanging over the case ever since Rice’s death almost a year ago—including why Loehmann and his partner who drove the squad car, Frank Garmback, have never spoken to investigators.

Delores Jones-Brown, a former prosecutor in New Jersey and a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says it was unusual that McGinty enlisted a Colorado prosecutor and a former FBI agent to analyze the evidence and then release their findings. “I have never seen an incident in which that happened before,” she said, adding, “Normally it would be the defense attorney’s responsibility to get those kinds of experts.”

Tim Young, the director of Ohio’s public defenders office, sees McGinty’s release of the reports as “a measured attempt to try and reduce potential backlash” if the grand jury decides to not indict Loehmann. “The idea that this is somehow making it more fair and transparent, I think, is disingenuous. They’re still going to present this case in a private proceeding that you may or may not get to see the transcript of. We won’t know how they present Tamir.”

As fatal officer-involved shootings have fueled a nationwide debate about policing and racial injustice in America, prosecutors and grand juries have come under scrutiny. Some prosecutors have taken unconventional steps in response to criticism; after a grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch released the evidence reviewed by jurors in that case. In August, California became the first state to ban the use of grand juries in officer-involved shootings.

Prosecutors are now in a tough position, says Dave Klinger, a former police officer and a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “No matter what happens, the prosecutor is going to get criticized,” he says. The use of outside investigators by a prosecutor, he adds, is not unheard of in grand jury proceedings. “The goal in a situation like that is to explain to the grand jurors in detail about things that perhaps the prosecutor really doesn’t know him or herself, about police training, practice, or tactics, so that the jurors can have a better understanding of what it is that officers are supposed to do.”

The experts who reviewed Loehmann’s use of deadly force, Colorado prosecutor S. Lamar Sims and former FBI agent Kim Crawford, emphasized that the circumstances leading up to and immediately following the shooting were not relevant to their findings. “To suggest that Officer Garmback should have stopped the car at another location is to engage in exactly the kind of ‘Monday morning quarterbacking’ the case law exhorts us to avoid,” Sims wrote. Some policing experts have said that Garmback’s pulling up to within 10 feet of Rice just seconds before Loehmann shot him was among glaring tactical errors made by the two officers. And neither Sims nor Crawford mentioned the fact that for several minutes following the shooting, Loehmann and Garmback stood around without administering first aid to Rice while he lay bleeding on the ground.

“To say that the actions were constitutional does not [necessarily] relieve the officers of negligence or recklessness,” says Jones-Brown. That decision is ultimately up to the prosecutor and the grand jury, she says, adding that a special prosecutor should be appointed. “I’m afraid the damage may have already been done by disseminating these reports.”…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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A Set-Up in Tamir Rice Case

Seems to me there are three basic questions to this justification test which are being ignored…

Did Tamir Rice pose a threat to anyone in his immediate vicinity?

The answer to that one is no. Even if the gun had been real, he stayed under the awning at the playground for quite a period of time, with no one around. He had shot no one.

Did the officers have any reason to believe Tamir was a threat to their safety prior to arriving?

No. The Officers could have chosen to de-escalate, find out the facts (that it wasn’t a real gun), and could have easily stood off safely behind cover, and called for backup to disarm Tamir through a show of force. Taking the scenario that Tamir was an active shooter, any half way moron with a gun could have put 16-18 rounds through their windshield as they drove up (which is why backup would have been a good call). To drive up guns blazing just doesn’t make sense from a procedural standpoint. These guys went into cowboy mode.

I don’t know about Cleveland, but in some jurisdictions the Police carry shotguns. Pulling into the lot 35-40 yards away from the suspect, confronting the suspect with 2 Cops behind the car, one armed with a gun which is accurate far beyond the range at which a untrained kid is going to hit anything with a pistol seems to me a very good way to have gotten a surrender.

Statistically in armed confrontations, even police at distances of 6-8 feet away only hit their target about 1 out of 8 shots fired. Which is why in situations where someone starts firing at a bar fight – you wind up with a lot of folks having nothing to do with the fight wounded or killed.

Why exactly didn’t these cops call for backup?

As such, in my humble opinion this was murder, and this is just, yet another, cover up.

2 Reports Say Officer’s Shooting of Tamar Rice Justified

A white Cleveland police officer was justified in fatally shooting a black 12-year-old boy holding a pellet gun moments after pulling up beside him, according to two outside reviews conducted at the request of the prosecutor investigating the death.

A retired FBI agent and a Denver prosecutor both found the rookie patrolman who shot Tamir Rice exercised a reasonable use of force because he had reason to perceive the boy — described in a 911 call as man waving and pointing a gun — as a serious threat.

The reports were released Saturday night by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, which asked for the outside reviews as it presents evidence to a grand jury that will determine whether Timothy Loehmann will be charged in Tamir’s death last November.

“We are not reaching any conclusions from these reports,” Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said in a statement. “The gathering of evidence continues, and the grand jury will evaluate it all.”

He said the reports, which included a technical reconstruction by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, were released in the interest of being “as public and transparent as possible.”

Subodh Chandra, a lawyer for the Rice family, said the release of the reports shows the prosecutor is avoiding accountability, which is what the family seeks.

“It is now obvious that the prosecutor’s office has been on a 12-month quest to avoid providing that accountability,” he said. He added that the prosecutor’s office didn’t provide his office or the Rice family with the details from the reports. He also questioned the timing of the release, at 8 p.m. Saturday on the Columbus Day holiday weekend.

“To get so-called experts to assist in the whitewash — when the world has the video of what happened — is all the more alarming,” Chandra said. “Who will speak for Tamir before the grand jury? Not the prosecutor, apparently.”

Both experts were provided with surveillance video of the shooting that showed Loehmann firing at Tamir within two seconds after the police cruiser driven by his partner pulled up next to the boy. Police say the officers were responding to a call about a man with a gun, but were not told the caller said the gun could be a fake and the man an adolescent.

The report prepared by retired FBI agent Kimberly A. Crawford concluded that Loehmann’s use of force did not violate Tamir’s constitutional rights, saying the only facts relevant to such a determination are those the patrolman had at the time he fired his weapon.

Loehmann, she wrote, “had no information to suggest the weapon was anything but a real handgun, and the speed with which the confrontation progressed would not give the officer time to focus on the weapon.”

“It is my conclusion that Officer Loehmann’s use of deadly force falls within the realm of reasonableness under the dictates of the Fourth Amendment,” Crawford wrote, though she noted she was not issuing an opinion as to whether Loehmann violated Ohio law or department policy.

Lamar Sims, the chief deputy district attorney in Denver, also concluded that Loehmann’s actions were reasonable based on statements from witnesses and a reconstruction of what happened that day.

Sims said the officers had no idea if the pellet gun was a real gun when they arrived, and that Loehmann was in a position of great peril because he was within feet of Tamir as the boy approached the cruiser and reached toward his waistband.

“The officers did not create the violent situation,” Sims wrote in his review. “They were responding to a situation fraught with the potential for violence to citizens.”

Another officer who recovered the pellet gun after Tamir was shot told investigators he first thought the gun was a semiautomatic pistol and was surprised when he realized it wasn’t real, Sims noted.

Chandra, the Rice family lawyer, says the experts “dodge the simple fact that the officers rushed Tamir and shot him immediately without assessing the situation in the least. Reasonable jurors could find that conduct unreasonable. But they will never get the chance because the prosecutor is working diligently to ensure that there is no indictment and no accountability.”

The pellet gun Tamir was holding shoots non-lethal plastic projectiles but its orange markings had been removed.

 

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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