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Report Attempts to Exonerate Police for Tamir Rice’s Death (Again), While Attorneys Insist Sandra Bland’s Family Is Responsible for Her Death

APphoto_Cleveland Police Shoot BoyA new report commissioned by an Ohio prosecutor is trying to exonerate police for the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child who was shot dead after officers mistook his toy gun for a real weapon.

According to The Atlantic, this is the third report released by Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty. Rice’s family claim the prosecutor’s office is trying to justify Officer Timothy Loehmann’s decision to shoot the boy. Although police claim they gave Rice orders to lay down his weapon, video shows Loehmann shooting the boy within seconds of the police cruiser arriving on the scene. There seemed to be no attempt to disarm the child.

The latest report was prepared by Ken Katsaris, a Florida-based police consultant and trainer. Katsaris said Loehmann acted within reason and had no way of knowing if Rice’s gun was real or not.

“This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life, but to compound the tragedy by labeling the officers [sic] 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,” Katsaris wrote.

As Cleveland police are shirking responsibility for Rice’s death, Texas prosecutors are trying to blame Sandra Bland’s family for her jailhouse death. Bland was arrested for a minor traffic violation this summer and then arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer. Three days later she was found dead in her jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide.

However, attorneys for Waller County are arguing that Bland’s family should bear responsibility for her death, because they failed to pay the $515 needed for her release. Bland’s family has filed suit against Trooper Brian Encinia, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Waller County and county jail staffers, Elsa Magnus and Oscar Prudente, holding them responsible for her death. The lawsuit alleges Magnus and Prudente failed to consider that Bland was a suicide risk.

However, The Houston Chronicle reported attorneys for the county filed a motion to have the suit dismissed on Veteran’s Day. The motion stated jail staffers claimed Bland did not appear to be a suicide risk when she was processed.

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