Tamir Rice shooting video released by police, family continues to protest 12-year-old's death

by Christian Examiner |

(Family photo)Tamir E. Rice, 12, was shot to death at a Cleveland park by police on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

Police released an edited surveillance camera video Wednesday of 12-year-old Tamir Rice being shot while holding a BB gun. The Cleveland boy had been playing with the replica gun without its orange safety tip, and for the first time, the public can see how exactly the youth was killed.

The eight-minute video shows Rice walking around the Cudell Recreation Center with a blurred subject that could have been his sister, though she eventually left the scene. He pulled out the weapon, in one instance pointing it at something off-camera. Near the 7-minute mark, police pull up to the gazebo where the boy sat and as he tried to pull the airsoft gun out of his waistband they shot him.

The two officers that responded to the call have been identified as Timothy Loehmann, 26, and Frank Garmback, 46. They were responding to reports of a weapon in the park, though the caller had initially said he thought the weapon was fake.

There's "a guy with a pistol, and it's probably fake ... but he's pointing it at everybody," a caller told 911. "I don't know if it's real or not." Jeff Folmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told the Associated Press the two officers who responded were not informed the pistol could have been fake.

Rice was hit two times in the chest, and from there he was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center.

The 12-year-old died Sunday morning.

The boy's father, Gregory Henderson, asked why non-lethal means were not used.

"Why not taze him? You shot him twice, not once, and at the end of the day you all don't shoot for the legs, you shoot for the upper body," he told The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"He had his whole life ahead (of him)," Henderson said to WKYC. "To be 12 years old, he doesn't know what he's doing. Police they know what they're doing."

Rice's family called for the surveillance video to be released publicly after seeing it themselves.

Rice's death sparked demonstrations Monday night, according to reports, with more than 100 protestors gathering to support the 12-year-old's family. Since then other demonstrations have occurred with up to 200 protestors, with many comparing the incident to the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August.