Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Police: Video of officer shooting boy is 'clear'

25 November 2014, 09:38

Cleveland - A officer was less than 10 feet (3 meters) away when he fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun near a playground, and video of the shooting is clear about what happened, police said Monday.

The boy was confronted Saturday by officers responding to an emergency call about a male who appeared to be pulling a gun in and out of his pants.

The caller said the gun was "probably fake," then added, "I don't know if it's real or not." Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said Monday that he didn't know whether a dispatcher shared that information with responding officers.

The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association has said the officers weren't told the caller thought the gun might be fake.

Police say Tamir Rice, who died Sunday, had an "airsoft" gun that appeared indistinguishable from a real firearm. Airsoft guns fire spherical plastic pellets and have orange tips to show they aren't real firearms, but police said the one the boy had didn't have the bright safety indicator.

Authorities said the boy was told to raise his hands and was shot when he pulled the pellet gun from his waistband, though he hadn't pointed it at police or made verbal threats.

Also read: 7 injured in US shooting

"Our officers at times are required to make critical decisions in a split second," Chief Calvin Williams said. "Unfortunately this is one of those times."

Tomba said surveillance video of the shooting is "very clear" about what occurred, but he wouldn't discuss details of what it shows.

People representing the boy's family viewed the video Monday, but police didn't release it publicly because it is considered evidence and because they want to be sensitive to the family, the community and the officer, who is distraught, officials said.

The shooting has led to an investigation of the officer's use of force. It also contributed to a state lawmaker's plan to propose legislation requiring all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft guns sold in Ohio to be brightly colored or have prominent fluorescent strips.

Once the investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury to decide whether any criminal charges should be brought, county Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said.

The two officers involved in the shooting were put on administrative leave under standard procedure. Police haven't publicly identified them.

At least 100 people gathered near a recreation center at the playground Monday night to show support for the boy's family. Some demonstrators carried signs that read "Danger Police in Area" and "Police Terror: This Stops Today." They chanted, "Justice for Tamir!"

"We will not accept any excuse why this young man was shot down unjustly," said Art McKoy, a Cleveland community activist at the demonstration.

The Associated Press left a message for the attorney, Timothy Kucharski, on Monday. He said previously that Tamir went to the park with friends Saturday afternoon, but he didn't know the details of what led to the shooting and wanted to get more facts and talk to witnesses himself.

- AP

Tags us shooting

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...