Cleveland Police Release Video of Controversial Shooting – Voice of America
As U.S. cities recover from protests over the police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri, police in Cleveland, Ohio have released video of another controversial police shooting, showing the death of a 12-year-old who was brandishing a toy gun.
The surveillance video, released Wednesday, shows 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was black, pacing up and down a sidewalk last Saturday, playing with the gun and talking on a cell phone. A police car pulls up next to him, and the shooting takes place within seconds. There is no audio recording, so it is unclear what the police and the boy may have said to each other.
Rice died in the hospital on Sunday.
The police who apprehended the boy were responding to a 911 call from a bystander, who told emergency officials the boy’s gun was probably fake. But reports say the 911 dispatcher failed to communicate that to the police.
Police officials say they released the video at the family’s request. The family said the video shows one thing distinctly: that the police officers “reacted quickly” to the young boy and his toy gun.
The two police officers have been placed on administrative leave. The county prosecutor is investigating.
The Tamir Rice case is one of a recent string of controversial shootings in the United States involving a white or Hispanic shooter and a black victim. The most famous case, before that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was that of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012. Martin’s death, like Michael Brown’s, led to protests nationwide.
Some information in this report was provided by AP and AFP.