Officer shoots, kills 12-year-old boy carrying a BB gun on the playground

A Cleveland officer was less than 10 feet away when he fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun near a playground, police said Monday.

A surveillance video of Tamir Rice’s last moments before he was shot on Saturday has been shown to representatives of his family, after they declined to watch their son’s shooting.

Tamir Rice, was confronted Saturday by officers responding to a 911 call about a male who appeared to be pulling a gun in and out of his pants.

The 911 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.

Tamir, 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.

They say 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.

‘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.’

The two officers involved in the shooting were put on administrative leave under standard procedure.

Police haven’t publicly identified them.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the officers are a first-year rookie and a 10-year department veteran.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said he spoke to the officer who shot the boy last night: ‘[He is] holding up pretty well but is broken up about this,’ Williams said, adding that the officer ‘didn’t want to do this, but had to protect himself.’

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.

The police department has collected surveillance video and other evidence and will present it to the county prosecutor’s office, the newspaper said without citing a source.

It said after reviewing the evidence prosecutors will present the case to a grand jury, which will decide whether the officer was justified in using force against the boy.

More at The DailyMail

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