According to a video released Tuesday, a Cleveland police officer involved in the Tamir Rice shooting in 2014, said he “didn’t know it was a kid.”
Cleveland Police Officer Frank Garmback who is seen covering his face in the video as his partner, Officer Timothy Loehmann, fatally shot 12-year-old Rice within seconds of arriving at the park where he was playing with a toy gun on Nov. 22, 2014. The officers were responding to an emergency call about an armed man at the park.
At the time, disciplinary charges were recommended against the two officers to the city’s safety director, but the police union ultimately found that the officers did nothing wrong. In 2015, a Cuyahoga County grand jury also declined to charge Garmback or Loehmann, according to Reuters.
The police interview video was released by Rice’s family attorney Subodh Chandra as part of the family’s push to have both officers fired, calling them incompetent. Both officers now face administrative charges that could result in suspension or termination.
Last year, Cleveland settled a civil lawsuit with the family for US$6 million. The brutal shooting death of Rice was one of many acts of police terror that galvanized a movement for Black lives in the U.S. against police brutality and murder.
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