Tamir Rice Was Shot Within Seconds, but Cleveland Police Merely Question a White Man Standing in a Black Neighborhood with a Rifle

Ohio barber Slater

Ohio barber Deone Slater outside his business

A new report on the Tamir Rice shooting states the young man was shot while he had his hands in his pockets, according to NBC News. The analysis comes from Jesse Wobrock, a California-based shooting reconstruction expert.

Previous reports and video footage showed Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice within two seconds of arriving on the scene. However Wobrock’s report says that is inaccurate. The new analysis says Rice was shot even sooner. Rice couldn’t possibly hear any instructions to put down his toy gun, because the windows of the police cruiser were up.

“The scientific analysis and timing involved do not support any claim that there was a meaningful exchange between Officer Loehmann and Tamir Rice before he was shot,” Wobrock said.

Wobrock’s report adds to mounting evidence against Cleveland police officers. Two previous reports by former law enforcement officers accused Loehmann and Officer Frank Garmback, who was driving the police cruiser, of acting recklessly and not following standard procedures.

The reports, produced by retired California police officers, contradict three reports commissioned by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty which justify Rice’s shooting. Wobrock’s report will be added to the information that will be reviewed by the grand jury. According to NBC News, the officers gave up their Fifth Amendment rights by reading statements to the grand jury and are now required to answer questions in a cross examination. However, a recent incident reported by Cleveland.com illustrates how police treat Black and white suspects differently.

Cleveland.com reported on an incident that occurred last week when a barber shop owner confronted a white man who was walking through a Black neighborhood with a rifle. Ohio allows citizens to openly carry weapons without a license. Deone Slater, owner of Kangaroo Kutz, confronted Daniel Kovacevic, who was standing in front of his shop.

“He was a threat to my community,” Slater said. “If I can prevent him from shooting up the city, I would. I won’t condone it. Somebody’s got to stand up.”

Cleveland.com reported that the police soon showed up on the scene, however Slater, who is Black, was angry that they spent more time trying to calm him down instead of admonishing Kovacevic.

“[The police] were more concerned about me than him, as if I were the threat,” Slater said. “If it were me with a gun, they would have shut the whole block down.”

Cleveland police said Kovacevic was an attention seeker.

Even though Ohio is an open carry state, police shot Tamir Rice within seconds of arriving on the scene. However, when white people like Kovacevic, walk around with rifles on their back, they are questioned and then let go.

“It’s different if it’s a black person. People say it isn’t, but it is,” said Traneece Johnson, according to Cleveland.com. “[Kovacevic] was approached, and they gave him a chance to speak and say he was expressing his right. The little boy didn’t get that chance.”

Back to top