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Officers' statements in the Tamir Rice shooting are made public
It is the first time the public has heard the Cleveland officers' side of the fatal shooting
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


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Kevin Niedermier
 
Tamir Rice was in the gazebo outside the rec center when officers arrived and shot him two seconds later.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
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Statements from the Cleveland police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice were read to the grand jury that’s deciding if the officers should be charged. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor also made those statements public today. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports.

 

LISTEN: Officers maintain the shooting was justified

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The officers did not appear before the grand jury, but the statement from officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the shots, and officer Frank Garmback who drove the cruiser, were taken recently. And it marks the first time the public has heard the officers’ accounts of what happened at the west-side recreation center on Nov. 22 of last year,  after a 911 caller reported someone was pointing a gun at people.

That suspect turned out to be Rice who was playing with a realistic looking toy handgun.

In Loehmann’s statement, he says after repeatedly ordering Rice to show his hands, he believed Rice was about to pull the gun from his waistband. Loehmann says, based on his training, he fired at the gun in Rice’s hand because he felt Rice was going to try to shoot.

Rice was shot within two seconds of the officers arriving on the scene.

The prosecutor’s office previously released expert testimony given to the grand jury stating that the officers acted appropriately. The grand jury has also heard expert testimony submitted by Rice’s family saying the opposite is true.

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