On Thursday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty made public another criminal justice expert’s report, commissioned by the prosecutor’s office, on a Cleveland police officer’s fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, 12, a year ago this month. The report found the shooting to be “tragic” but “reasonable.”
This is the third such report commissioned and released by McGinty’s office. Last month, the prosecutor released two external reports that found Officer Timothy Loehmann, when he shot and killed Rice within two seconds of exiting his patrol car, acted “within the realm of reasonableness.”
According to Cleveland.com, those reports did not consider actions taken by 911 call takers, dispatchers, Loehmann’s partner, Frank Garmback, or whether Loehmann broke any state laws. The new report, conducted by certified Florida law enforcement officer, instructor, and consultant W. Ken Katsaris, did take into account how the 911 call was handled and Garmback’s actions, but came to the same conclusions as the prior reports:
The man who called 911 said there was “a guy with a pistol.” He also said three times that the gun was “probably fake,” and once that the person was “probably a juvenile.” But dispatcher Beth Mandl only told Garmback and Loehmann that there was a male with a gun.
The dispatcher should have relayed to the officers that the caller said the suspect was “probably a juvenile” and that the gun was “probably fake,” Katsaris said.
“This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life,” Katsaris wrote, “but to compound the tragedy by labeling the officers’ conduct as anything but objectively reasonable would also be a tragedy, albeit not carrying with it the consequences of the loss of life, only the possibility of loss of career.”