Family Boy's fatal shooting could have been avoided

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The family of a 12-year-old boy fatally wounded by a Cleveland police officer said surveillance video of the shooting shows that if the officer had not acted so quickly the youngster would still be alive.
The video made public on Wednesday shows Tamir Rice being shot within 1½ to 2 seconds of a patrol car stopping near him at a park in Cleveland on Saturday. It shows the boy reaching in his waistband for what police discovered was a pellet gun that shoots non-lethal plastic projectiles. He died the next day.

Tamir’s family said in a statement released by their attorneys that they hope Cleveland police and Cuyahoga County prosecutors “thoroughly examine” what happened at the park that day.

“It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us,” said the family. “The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly.”

The patrol officer who shot Tamir was identified Wednesday as Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old rookie who began his career in Cleveland on March 3. He previously spent five months in 2012 with a department in suburban Independence, but four of those months were in that city’s police academy.

Loehmann’s partner that day was identified as Frank Garmback, 46. He has been with the department since 2008. Both are on paid administrative leave pending a decision by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office whether to pursue any criminal charges.

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The family of a 12-year-old boy fatally wounded by a Cleveland police officer said surveillance video of the shooting shows that if the officer had not acted so quickly the youngster would still be alive.

The video made public on Wednesday shows Tamir Rice being shot within 1½ to 2 seconds of a patrol car stopping near him at a park in Cleveland on Saturday. It shows the boy reaching in his waistband for what police discovered was a pellet gun that shoots non-lethal plastic projectiles. He died the next day.

Tamir’s family said in a statement released by their attorneys that they hope Cleveland police and Cuyahoga County prosecutors “thoroughly examine” what happened at the park that day.

“It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us,” said the family. “The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly.”

The patrol officer who shot Tamir was identified Wednesday as Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old rookie who began his career in Cleveland on March 3. He previously spent five months in 2012 with a department in suburban Independence, but four of those months were in that city’s police academy.

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Loehmann’s partner that day was identified as Frank Garmback, 46. He has been with the department since 2008. Both are on paid administrative leave pending a decision by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office whether to pursue any criminal charges.

Much of the video footage shows Tamir alone in a park on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. He is seen pacing, occasionally extending his right arm with what appears to be a gun in his hand, talking on a cellphone and sitting a picnic table with his head resting on his arms.

The gun wasn’t real. It can be bought at sporting goods stores for less than $20. Tamir’s was lacking the orange safety indicator usually found on the barrel and, from a distance, was indistinguishable from a real firearm.

At one moment, Tamir is sitting at a picnic table in a gazebo. He stands and a police car zooms into the frame from the right and stops on the grass, just a few feet from Tamir. The passenger door opens and Loehmann shoots Tamir before Garmback can get out the driver’s side door.

It’s unclear how far Tamir was from Loehmann when the officer shot him, but Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said Wednesday that it was less than 10 feet.

The low-resolution video shows Tamir reaching to his waistband and then bending over after being shot. His body is mostly obscured by the patrol car when he falls to the ground. Garmback can be seen walking around the car and kicking what is said to be the airsoft gun away from Tamir.

Tomba told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that an FBI agent who was working a bank robbery detail nearby arrived within a few minutes and administered first aid to Tamir. Paramedics arrived three minutes later. The boy died on Sunday at a Cleveland hospital.

Tomba said the city was releasing the video at the behest of Tamir’s family.

“This is not an effort to exonerate. It’s not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong,” Tomba said. “This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We’ve got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do.”

On Saturday, a person had called 911 about a male pointing a gun at others at the park. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that the gun was “probably fake,” then added, “I don’t know if it’s real or not.”

Tomba would not discuss statements the two officers gave after the shooting, saying they were part of the investigation. Nor would he discuss details of the radio conversation between the officers and a dispatcher except to say they were apprised that they were on a “gun run.”

David Malik, one of the attorneys representing Tamir’s family, said Wednesday that he hoped the shooting of Tamir would lead to reform. He cited Cincinnati, where he said the police department, police union and the community worked collaboratively.

“Hopefully, incidents like this won’t occur again,” Malik said.


Associated Press writers Jennifer Smola in Cleveland and Kantele Franko and Ann Sanner in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.
Much of the video footage shows Tamir alone in a park on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. He is seen pacing, occasionally extending his right arm with what appears to be a gun in his hand, talking on a cellphone and sitting a picnic table with his head resting on his arms.

The gun wasn’t real. It can be bought at sporting goods stores for less than $20. Tamir’s was lacking the orange safety indicator usually found on the barrel and, from a distance, was indistinguishable from a real firearm.

At one moment, Tamir is sitting at a picnic table in a gazebo. He stands and a police car zooms into the frame from the right and stops on the grass, just a few feet from Tamir. The passenger door opens and Loehmann shoots Tamir before Garmback can get out the driver’s side door.

It’s unclear how far Tamir was from Loehmann when the officer shot him, but Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said Wednesday that it was less than 10 feet.

The low-resolution video shows Tamir reaching to his waistband and then bending over after being shot. His body is mostly obscured by the patrol car when he falls to the ground. Garmback can be seen walking around the car and kicking what is said to be the airsoft gun away from Tamir.
Tomba told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that an FBI agent who was working a bank robbery detail nearby arrived within a few minutes and administered first aid to Tamir. Paramedics arrived three minutes later. The boy died on Sunday at a Cleveland hospital.

Tomba said the city was releasing the video at the behest of Tamir’s family.

“This is not an effort to exonerate. It’s not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong,” Tomba said. “This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We’ve got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do.”

On Saturday, a person had called 911 about a male pointing a gun at others at the park. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that the gun was “probably fake,” then added, “I don’t know if it’s real or not.”

Tomba would not discuss statements the two officers gave after the shooting, saying they were part of the investigation. Nor would he discuss details of the radio conversation between the officers and a dispatcher except to say they were apprised that they were on a “gun run.”

David Malik, one of the attorneys representing Tamir’s family, said Wednesday that he hoped the shooting of Tamir would lead to reform. He cited Cincinnati, where he said the police department, police union and the community worked collaboratively.

“Hopefully, incidents like this won’t occur again,” Malik said.


Associated Press writers Jennifer Smola in Cleveland and Kantele Franko and Ann Sanner in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.

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Cops Beat Man & 7-Month Pregnant Wife then Deleted the Video, But it Survived on the Cloud

Denver, CO — The Denver police department has been accused of using excessive force after a video, which they allegedly deleted, survived on the cloud and was turned into FOX 31. 

The incident started as two officers approached David Nelson Flores, who was in his vehicle with his seven-and-a-half-months pregnant wife and their child, to shake him down after suspecting him of being in possession of a substance deemed illegal by the state.

Upon their approach, officers said they saw Flores put a white sweat sock in his mouth. Because the US is involved in an immoral war on drugs, this ‘sock in mouth’ move apparently gave the officers the right to yank Flores out of his car and proceed to pummel the man on the asphalt.

According to the police report however, a pair of plain clothes officers “assisted” suspect David Nelson Flores out of his car and they all “fell to the ground.”

The pummeling was for Flores’ own good, according to the police report. They bashed in his face and head so he wouldn’t “choke.”

At the moment the officers began struggling with Flores on the ground, Levi Frasier was driving by and pulled over his van to get a better look at the situation. At first, Frasier says, the undercover cops asked for his assistance in subduing Flores.

But Frasier said before he could react, backup arrived and they told him to get back.

That’s when Frasier turned on the camera.

Amazingly enough, as officers were involved in this life threatening situation, one of them had the wherewithal to warn his fellow officers about them being filmed. The word “camera!” can be heard shortly after officer Charles “Chris” Jones IV began beating in the face of David Flores.

Flores was struck six times by Jones after he yells, “Spit the drugs out! Spit the drugs out!” Like we said earlier, these six strikes about the face and head of Flores were for Flores’ well being, according to police.

According to police reports, Jones’ reasoning for the punches were twofold:

  1. Trying to retrieve what he believed was a bag of heroin from the suspect’s mouth (and preventing Flores from choking)
  2. Fear that one of the other officer’s arms was injured after being trapped beneath the suspect’s body

After seeing her husband’s head bouncing off of the pavement over and over again, Flores’ wife, Mayra Lazos-Guerrero, was scared that he may die, and began begging the police officers in Spanish to stop beating her husband.

Naturally Jones feared for his safety as the seven-and-a-half-months pregnant woman approached the beating zone, so he sweeps 25-year-old Lazos-Guerroro’s legs out from under her. The obviously pregnant woman then falls hard onto her stomach and face, as she begins to scream in agony.

She was screaming like, ‘What are you doing. Let him go! Let him go! Stop hurting him! What are you doing?,’” Frasier said. “She was just concerned for him. You could clearly hear that and as she got closer.”

After the police-on-pregnant woman violence subsided, Frasier says that’s when the Denver police officers became interested in his Samsung Tablet.

Fraiser told FOX 31 that officers on scene threatened him with arrest, demanded he turn over all photos and videotape to them and then seized his tablet over his objections.

“When he took it, I said, ‘Hey! You can’t do that. You need a warrant for that!’ and he said, ‘What program did you take the video with? Where is that?’” Frasier said.

He said police ignored his objections and dug through his personal photos without obtaining a court order.

“The first officer that comes up to ask me about my witness statement brings me to the police car and says we could do this the easy way or we could do this the hard way,” Fraser said. “It was taken as ‘You can either cooperate and give us what we want or we’re going to incarcerate you.’”

According to Frasier, when he got back his tablet, the video was gone. “I couldn’t believe it. My heart dropped. I know I just shot that video, like it’s not on there now?” Frasier said.

Frasier said it’s “possible” both he and the police officer who looked through his tablet “missed seeing” the clip inside his files.

However, Frasier said he suspects, in reality, the clip was deleted either with intention or by mistake.

When he got back home that evening, Fraiser synced his tablet with his electronic cloud and within a few moments, the video reappeared.

“It was very well known that the video was shot and things were done on the video that shouldn’t be leaked out, that it would be bad for the reputations of the police officers,” Frasier said.

Denver police Cmdr. Matt Murray, pointed out that Frasier did in fact fill out a witness statement and did not report seeing officers do anything inappropriate. However, filling out a complaint with the ones who are threatening you is like voicing your discontent with a murderous kidnapper who is about to let you go, it’s just something you don’t do.

Frasier actually concurs, and said he did sign the witness statement, but did so “under duress.”

“It was survival mode. It was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to make it out of here. Not going to go to jail today for something I didn’t have anything to do with,’” Frasier said.

Despite his friends telling him to delete the video for fear that the officers would seek revenge, Fraiser did the courageous thing and submitted it to FOX31, and for this Frasier deserves credit.

According to court records, the severely injured Flores was brought to the hospital, treated for his injuries, and now faces a charge of resisting arrest and two felony drug charges.

Mayra Lazos-Guerrero faces charges for obstruction, drugs and child abuse because there was a child in the car when this arrest went down. Guerrero was also allegedly caught with drug paraphernalia in her purse.