As grand jury proceedings continue in the death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer as he held a pellet gun, two outside reviews of the case say that officer Timothy Loehmann was justified in the shooting.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors are still investigating the shooting themselves and presenting evidence to the grand jury that will decide if Loehmann is charged with a crime, but the release of findings from these independent investigations could be a bad sign for those who want Loehmann to stand trial.
Here's what those reports, conducted by a retired FBI agent and a Denver prosecutor found, via The Associated Press:
The officer, (the former FBI agent) wrote, “had no information to suggest the weapon was anything but a real handgun, and the speed with which the confrontation progressed would not give the officer time to focus on the weapon.”
“It is my conclusion that Officer Loehmann’s use of deadly force falls within the realm of reasonableness under the dictates of the Fourth Amendment."
The Denver prosecutor came to a similar conclusion
“The officers did not create the violent situation,” he wrote. “They were responding to a situation fraught with the potential for violence to citizens.”
While prosecutors in Cleveland told reporters they're "not reaching any conclusions from these reports," a lawyer for Tamir Rice's family called their very release into question.
“To get so-called experts to assist in the whitewash — when the world has the video of what happened — is all the more alarming. Who will speak for Tamir before the grand jury? Not the prosecutor, apparently,” Subodh Chandra told the AP.
Video of the shooting shows that the officer fired on Rice about two seconds after getting out of his cruiser at the scene.