A video released by Cleveland police reveals 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot immediately after police arrived at a recreation center.
Tamir was shot by a police officer who responded to a call about a boy pointing a gun at a playground.
The man who called 911 told the dispatcher that the gun was “probably fake” and the boy was scaring everyone. But the dispatcher did not pass that information on to responding officers.
The grainy surveillance video shows Tamir sitting at a picnic table at Cudell Recreation Center. The boy stood up and took a few steps toward a snow covered grassy area.
A moment later, a police cruiser pulled up in front of Tamir. An officer exiting from the passenger side of the patrol unit immediately opened fire on Tamir — shooting the boy once in the abdomen.
The video showed Tamir reaching into his pocket or waist band as the police cruiser pulled up. It isn’t clear if Tamir was raising his jacket to show the officers that the gun was fake.
What is clear is that the officers did not give the child a chance to raise his hands or react to their orders before he was shot.
The shooting raised questions about the police handling of the case. Tamir’s father, Gregory Henderson, questioned why police chose to open fire instead of using a stun gun.
The police shooting recalls the case of Levar Jones, the 35-year-old Columbia, SC man who was shot when he reached into his car for his driver’s license after being pulled over for a seat belt violation. The South Carolina state trooper who shot Jones was arrested and ultimately fired.
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