A third report has concluded that the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer last year was justified.
In the report, which was released publicly by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday, retired Florida police officer W. Ken Katsaris writes that it was “simply obvious that the officers had a reason to believe that Rice was armed.”
Tamir was shot outside a city recreation center on Nov. 22 after officers responded to a 911 call about someone with a gun at a playground. Surveillance video released by police shows the boy being shot within two seconds of a patrol car stopping near him. He died the next day.
Tamir was actually playing with a pellet gun when he was shot.
“This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life,” Katsaris writes in the new report. “But to compound the tragedy by labeling the officers’ conduct as anything but objectively reasonable would also be a tragedy.”
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A grand jury is currently hearing evidence from prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against patrolman Timothy Loehmann and his training officer, patrolman Frank Garmback.
Two other reports from outside experts previously concluded that Tamir’s shooting was reasonable.
Attorneys for Tamir’s family are furious with the release of the three reports, stating that the experts are clearly biased in favor of the prosecution.
“Regrettably, with the release of yet another utterly biased and shamelessly misguided ‘expert report’ the County Prosecutor is making clear his intention to protect the police from accountability under the criminal laws, rather than diligently prosecute them,” attorney Jonathan Abady of New York said in a statement Thursday, according to the Associated Press.