Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tamir Rice: Was Not Reaching for Toy Gun when Shot Dead by Police, Report Says

"CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Tamir Rice had his hands in his jacket pockets and never reached for the airsoft pellet gun that was tucked in his waistband when a Cleveland police officer fatally shot him, according to a report released late Friday from an expert in biomechanics and kinetics.
The new report also concluded that the 12-year-old boy's toy gun was not visible to officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, and that Loehmann opened fire less than one second after exiting the patrol car.
Jesse L. Wobrock, an expert hired by attorneys representing the Rice family in a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers and the city of Cleveland, wrote that Tamir had no time to remove his hands from his pockets or hear a warning from police before he was shot.
Wobrock holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from the UCLA and has testified as an expert more than 100 times, according to his bio. He formed his conclusions after studying enhanced video released last week by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty as well as numerous investigatory files that have been released in the case.
Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra released the report late Friday along with updated reports by two other experts, who also studied the enhanced video and maintain their original positions that the shooting of Tamir was not reasonable.
Wobrock concluded Tamir did not have enough time to react to any verbal commands before Loehmann shot him.
'The scientific analysis and timing involved do not support any claim that there was a meaningful exchange between officer Loehmann and Tamir Rice, before [Tamir] was shot,' Wobrock said.
Wobrock's report challenges analysis offered by the prosecutor's office when the enhanced video was released. The enhanced video was released as a series of stills, with notes on several frames. One still included a note saying Tamir moved his right arm toward his waist immediately before the shooting. Tamir was actually putting his hands in his pockets, Wobrock said.
Wobrock concluded that Tamir raised his right arm in a 'defensive-type position' a split-second before Loehmann opened fire.
'This defensive-type movement causes his jacket to move upward and to the right, which is consistent with the location of the bullet hole in his outer jacket, compared to his abdominal wound,' Wobrock said.
The report also concluded that Loehmann shot Tamir less than one second after he exited the police car, not the 1.7 seconds that other experts have found. Loehmann likely drew his gun before he exited the police car because less than one second is 'simply not enough time' to draw a gun, aim and fire, Wobrock said.
'Based on the timing of this event, Tamir Rice did not have enough time to perceive and react to any verbal commands, which is exemplified by the fact that his right hand was still in his jacket pocket at the time he was shot,' Wobrock said."

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