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Tamir Rice shooting: Cleveland Police release video and identify officer who fired the fatal shot

Posted at 2:59 PM, Nov 26, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above depicts a police-involved shooting where a 12-year-old died. Please consider carefully before watching. (The video is in four parts. A fifth video includes a narrative by Commander Ed Tomba.)

Cleveland Police have released video of an officer shooting and killing a 12-year-old who was carrying an airsoft gun near a playground and identified the officer who opened fire.

Tamir Rice was confronted Saturday by officers responding to a 911 call about a male who appeared to be pulling a gun in and out of his pants.  The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association has said the officers weren't told the caller thought the gun might be fake.

Officers Timothy Loehmann, 26 and Frank Garmback, 46, responded to the park on Cleveland's west side. Commander Ed Tomba said the officers, through an open car door, told Tamir three times to put his hands up as they pulled up to the scene.

At first, Tamir's family didn't want to watch or have the video and audio released, but later changed their minds. Tamir's family and police agreed to release the video Wednesday afternoon.

The video is a compressed, low-resolution recording obtained from a nearby surveillance camera. This means that instead of appearing as real-time movement, the images are jerkier. Faces were also blurred by the police department to protect witness identities.

Police said Loehmann fired the fatal shot after it appeared the youth was reaching for a weapon in his waistband. Loehmann provided a statement, but police will not release exactly what he said.

"Keep in mind, the incident involved a 12-year-old boy," Police Chief Calvin Williams said.

Police have said they are confident that the video shows that the officer involved "acted reasonably."

Tomba said the release of this video by no means is to exonerate the actions of the police or show Tamir did anything wrong. "We are doing it for the wishes of the family and being fair to the community," he said.