Tamir Rice “suffered terror and fear” when the 12-year-old was ambushed and shot dead by a Cleveland police officer responding last month to a 911 call of a person, “probably a juvenile” holding a “probably fake” gun, a wrongful death lawsuit filed Friday claims.
The suit comes one day after U.S Attorney General Eric Holder released a damning report compiled over two years that blasted the entire Ohio department for excessive use of force and lack of leadership.
Among the cases examined was the Nov. 22 death of Tamir, who was playing with an air soft pistol, which mimics the look of a real handgun, at a Cleveland park.
A 911 call reported a young person playing with the “probably fake” replica, a report that the emergency dispatcher never relayed to responding officer Frank Garmback, 46, and rookie patrolman Tim Loehmann, 26.
“The young boy was at the Cudell Recreation Center Park in the afternoon with a toy gun,” the suit, obtained by WEWS-TV, reads. “Defendants Loehmann and Garmback confronted him in a surprise fashion and fired multiple shots at him without any adequate investigation. Four minutes passed without any medical care being provided to Tamir, who lay on the ground alive.”
The entire confrontation was captured on surveillance video, released by Cleveland police. It shows the officers drive up within feet of Tamir before Loehmann exits the vehicle and fires two quick, ultimately fatal, shots.
Loehmann told supervisors he ordered Tamir, who had the fake gun in his waistband, three different times to show his hands before opening fire.
“He was not endangering anyone,” the suit reads. “He was not violent. He was not threatening harm to himself or anyone else. He was not pointing his imitation gun at anyone.”
The suit was filed after it was revealed this week that Loehmann, who had been hired in March, was effectively fired in 2012 from a previous job with the suburban Cleveland, small-town Independence Police Department.
Supervisors there said Loehmann “could not follow simple directions,” displayed “dismal” gun skills and had a “weepy” demeanor, according to personnel documents from the department.
Click here for more.
SOURCE: NY Daily News – Sasha Goldstein