Spotlight

Quick Draw McGraw?

Did a Cleveland cop act too fast when he shot a 12-year-old boy armed with an Airsoft pellet gun?

On November 22, a Cleveland citizen called 911 to report that a juvenile was wandering around on the outside of the Cudell Recreation Center and waving a gun around, thereby scaring people. He told the 911 operator that he thought the gun was a fake. A police unit was dispatched, but the 911 operator failed to advise the responding officers about the caller’s belief that the gun was a fake.

The police unit was driven by Officer Frank Garmback, 46, a six-year veteran. His partner was Officer Timothy Loehmann, 26, who had only been with the Cleveland PD since March. When they arrived, 12-year-old Tamir Rice had just left a gazebo and was walking in the direction of the arriving police unit with the gun tucked in his waistband.

As soon as the car came to a stop, Lohmann jumped out and shouted three times for Tamir to show his hands. Instead the boy appeared to reach for his waistband, at which point Lohmann shot him from about 10 feet away. He then ducked behind the patrol car. The boy was shot before Garmback exited the car. Lohmann radioed in to report he had just shot someone he believed to be 20-years-old. Tamir was taken to a hospital where he died.

At the request of the boy’s parents, the Cleveland PD released surveillance camera footage of the event. It clearly showed Tamir walking around repeatedly drawing and pointing what appeared to a semi-automatic pistol. The video also showed that Lohmann shot the boy within 2 seconds after he got out of the car.

Unfortunately for Tamir, Lohmann was unaware that the caller thought the gun was a fake. To compound matters, those Airsoft guns are sold with an orange tip so it would be recognized as a toy gun, but someone had removed the tip.

Was Lohmann justified in shooting Tamir so quickly or do we have Quick Draw McGraw here?

That Airsoft gun looked real with the orange tip removed. But 2 seconds does seem like a tad fast to me. This tragic shooting probably would not have happened if (1) the 911 operator had advised the responding officers that the gun might be a fake and (2) if the patrol car had stopped at a greater distance from the boy.

Here we have another case in which a black boy was shot by white cops. To their credit, unlike Michael Brown’s parents, Tamir’s parents have been very calm and have asked people to refrain from participating in any unruly demonstrations.

One thing I’m sure of: Lohmann must be devastated over having shot a 12-year-old armed with a toy gun.

A grand jury will decide whether or not the shooting was justified.

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Paco's Podium

RobertVirgilTaylor56
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Katz Litterbox

katz-litter4 Quick Draw McGraw?

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Unions

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FPPC CCPOA fined for unreported political donations

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Gold Star Parolee

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Bad Apples

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