The two Cleveland police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, 12, who was carrying a pellet gun, stood by without rendering medical aid as the boy lay wounded next to their patrol car, a newly released extended surveillance video shows.
Then, about 1½ minutes after one officer had shot Tamir, the other officer tackled the boy’s 14-year-old sister as she tried to reach her brother. Tamir was shot Nov. 22 after someone called 911 to report “a guy” who had been pointing a “probably fake” pistol outside a community recreation center on Cleveland’s west side.
The video, which was obtained by the Northeast Ohio Media Group, seemed to clarify an issue in the shooting investigation: that the Cleveland officers provided no immediate medical assistance to Tamir, who was not pronounced dead until more than nine hours later at a Cleveland hospital. An autopsy by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner later found that Tamir died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Tamir was black; the officers are white.
The video also confirmed the account that Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, told in the weeks after the shooting: that the police had tackled and detained her daughter as she rushed out of the recreation center, trying to reach her brother’s side.
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After the second Cleveland officer, Frank Garmback, subdued Tamir’s sister — he pushed her to the ground back-first, tumbling on top of her in the process — the girl was handcuffed and put in the back of the police cruiser, a few feet from her brother.
The officers then stood by without tending to Tamir, the extended video showed. It was not until four minutes after the shooting, the video showed, that Tamir received medical assistance when another man was seen bent down next to him. According to the Rice family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, the man who provided the first medical assistance was an FBI agent who was in the neighborhood.
Paramedics arrived eight minutes after the shooting, and Tamir was taken away on a stretcher about five minutes later, the video shows.
A shorter surveillance video released earlier showed Tamir being shot by a rookie Cleveland officer, Timothy Loehmann, seconds after the police cruiser arrived and skidded to a stop next to the boy at a gazebo outside the recreation center. The black pistol that Tamir had, which looked like a real handgun, was an imitation that fired plastic pellets. His mother later said it had been given to Tamir to play with by a friend that afternoon.
The police said Tamir was told to raise his hands but instead reached to his waistband for the gun, though the previously released surveillance video showed that the shooting happened so fast, it was hard to know whether the officer issued any warnings or whether Tamir could have understood them if he did.
The killing, which occurred two weeks before a Justice Department report concluded that the Cleveland police had a pattern of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force,” angered many residents of the city, which has a black majority. The episode became the latest shooting to be absorbed into a broader national narrative about police violence in African-American communities.
On Thursday, the city’s media-relations director, Dan Williams, said the extended video was released once it was clear that it would not interfere with the investigation. “My intent was to get it out so the public could see all of the tape,” Williams said.
A Cleveland police spokeswoman said the department could not comment because the shooting was under investigation. Officials from Cleveland’s main police union, which represents patrol officers, did not respond to a request for comment.
Both officers have been placed on restricted duty.