November 23rd, 2014

Twelve-Year-Old Tamir Rice Dies After Being Shot By Police

On November 23, 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy, died the day after being shot by a white police officer. Rice was playing in a park by his Cleveland, Ohio, home when he was approached by a police car. Within seconds, Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir in the stomach. The officers were responding to a 911 dispatch in which a caller had reported that someone was playing with a gun, but also explained that the person was “probably a juvenile” and the gun was “probably fake.” The gun was, in fact, a toy.

Immediately after the shooting, when Tamir’s 14-year-old sister tried to rush to his side, police tackled her, placed her in handcuffs, and held her in the back of their squad car. Tamir’s mother was also prevented from going to her son, and threatened with arrest if she did not “calm down.” Neither Loehmann nor his partner, Frank Garmback, attempted to administer lifesaving procedures to Tamir as he lay bleeding on the ground.

After the December autopsy was released, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson reaffirmed his initial ruling that the shooting was a homicide. On June 11, 2015, Judge Ronald Adrine of the Cleveland Municipal Court found probable cause for prosecutors to proceed with charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide, and dereliction of duty against Loehmann. County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty responded to the finding by stressing that it was not binding, and that he would wait to follow a grand jury’s recommendation.