Prosecutor's office releases enhanced images of Tamir Rice shooting

Prosecutor's office releases new enhanced images of Tamir Rice shooting
Tamir Rice was shot by police while holding an airsoft pellet gun. (Source: Family)
Tamir Rice was shot by police while holding an airsoft pellet gun. (Source: Family)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office released enhanced images Saturday from surveillance video in connection with the Tamir Rice police-involved shooting investigation.

Tamir Rice was shot outside of Cleveland's Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014.

Cleveland police officers were called to the scene for a report of a male waving a gun. When two officers responded, within several seconds, Officer Timothy Loehmann fired his department-issued service weapon, fatally wounding 12-year-old Tamir.

Surveillance video provided by the city of Cleveland shows Tamir appearing to reach under his top for what ended up being an airsoft BB gun.

Officer Loehmann and his partner, Officer Frank Garmback III, have since been placed on transitional duty.

The enhancement released Saturday night shows 326 still frames and timeline of events from two different surveillance cameras. It uses metadata from the surveillance video to establish the timeline of events. The enhancement was conducted by Grant Fredericks, of Forensic Video Solutions in Spokane, WA.

The Cleveland Division of Police was alerted of the report's pending release and security was heightened, due to the Cleveland Cavalier's home game and the city's downtown holiday festivities.

Take a closer look at the images in our slideshow

In February 2015, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department was given the case to investigate and turned over their findings to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office in June.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury recently received the case and has heard testimony over the past several weeks from Tamir's mother, Samaria, and several individuals from Cleveland Police. Members will determine if criminal charges should be filed against the officers involved.

Since the grand jury's review of the case, four expert reports have been released to the media, including this latest report. The images, along with all other reports, have been presented to the grand jury for evaluation.

The current grand jury's session ends in December, but if they need more time to hear testimony, they can receive two extensions. The first extension can be up to four months. If they still need more time after four months, a second extension will allow one additional month.

The Rice family attorney released the following statement after the release of the images.

Friday night, November 27, Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Meyer wrote us about this enhanced video, but didn't give it to us, saying "There isn't much new information in there." We agree, with one exception. The enhancement definitively disproves Prosecutor McGinty's experts' claims that Tamir was reaching into his waistband and lifting up his jacket. The video continues to reveal police officers rushing upon 12-year-old Tamir without assessing the situation, and Officer Loehmann fatally shooting the child immediately. And the officers fail to administer first aid to the boy while he lay bleeding and dying on the ground. 

Prosecutor McGinty chose yet again to give this video to the media, with strict instructions not to show it to the Rice family. The frames contain editorial comments that attempt to make excuses for the officers. Tamir, for example, may be lifting his shoulder in shocked reaction to being shot. The effort to characterize the evidence is hardly fair play and is one of many reasons the Rice family and clergy throughout Cleveland lack confidence in the prosecutor's fairness in this matter.

Tamir's family has asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed to the case. The family and its attorney, Subodh Chandra, have expressed concern over Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty handling the case fairly.

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