Cleveland, Ohio - As we reported earlier this week, police in Cleveland shot and killed a 12-year-old boy who was playing with a toy gun in a local park.
Without any hesitation, police shot young Tamir Rice because they allegedly believed that he was pointing the gun at them, although the person who dialed 9-1-1 told them twice that the gun was “probably fake.” After they killed him, police inspected the gun to discover that it was an air soft pellet-gun, which is basically a toy.
Now, video surveillance footage of the encounter seems to contradict the official story, but unfortunately, the footage is not as "clear" as the police department suggested earlier this week.
According to the police, the boy reached for the gun, and disobeyed orders to put his hands up and drop the toy. Even if this was true, it would not give the officer the right to fire on the young boy.
However, video released this week shows that the officer who fired the shots showed absolutely no hesitation. In the new video, the police car blocks the view of the child as it parks, so it is impossible to see if the child actually "pointed" the toy at the officers. There is also no audio to indicate what the officer said when he arrived on the scene. This was the video that the police department said was "clear" earlier in the week.
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However, we do know for sure that 26-year-old officer Timothy Loehmann fired his gun immediately after stepping out of the police car, this much was admitted by police department representatives at a recent press conference.
In a news conference broadcast by NBC on Wednesday, Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said that there was only 1.5 to 2 seconds between the time that the officer stepped out of the car and fired the shots.
When a young child is walking around in a park with what appears to be a gun, the probability is overwhelming that the "gun" is likely a toy. Any reasonable person would take steps to examine the situation before firing a real weapon at the child. Police have a history of shooting children with toy guns, so by now, officers should know to approach these situations with extreme care and caution.
Regardless of this fact, the officer involved and the police department protecting him has maintained that the officer felt that his life was in danger because a "gun" was pointed at him, and therefore he was justified in using his weapon. The mainstream media has been supportive of this position as well, and has been deceptively reporting the officer's version of events as if they were facts, as is usually done in cases of police brutality and police murder.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.