Mimesis Law
3 June 2020

If We Don’t Get the Results We Want . . .

Oct. 13, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

The death of Tamir Rice, while tragic, was not murder, and was not the fault of the rookie police officer, Timothy Loehmann.

You have a young, 12-year-old kid, who is 5’ 7” and about 190 pounds, and appears to be much older. Remember, the average height for a 12-year-old is 4’ 10” and the average weight is 88 pounds. Several witnesses said that they thought Rice was a young adult.

You have what appears to be a real gun at the distance of a few feet, when you are on a call about a man with a gun. It doesn’t matter that the caller told the 911 operator that it may be a kid, because that information was not relayed to the officers. We don’t judge people on what they could have known, we judge people on what they did know, and Loehmann was not informed that it could be a toy gun.

So Loehmann did what any other police officer would do in that situation, he shot what appeared to be a 20-year-old man with a gun in his waistband. In that situation, I don’t know of any police officer who would not have done the same. I would have done it. Hell, when I first started in police work, I tried to draw my revolver and shoot an individual about 20 feet in front of me. I wasn’t fast enough, and it was a good thing, because the black pistol grip that the individual had grabbed was attached to a hacksaw.

Had I been faster, I would have shot him, multiple times. There was no question in my mind when I started to draw that he had a pistol and he was going to try to kill both me and my partner. We were both lucky that night. Loehmann was in the same position, only he and Rice were not as lucky.

But we don’t just take the first impression when the police shoot someone, we investigate it. Nowadays, we try to go outside the department to find people to conduct that investigation.

Now you have two reports prepared for Cleveland that bear out the position I’ve been saying all along. Both reports were prepared by outside investigators. One is a retired agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the other is the chief deputy district attorney in Denver, Colorado. Neither are paid shills for the department or the city.

Nor was the outcome of their investigation a foregone conclusion, but was dependent on the facts. Neither investigator had ties to Cleveland, but since both were involved in law enforcement, they are now “insiders.” That couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you are going to investigate bank fraud, you use forensic accounts and auditors, people who know how the banking system works. If you are going to investigate medical malpractice, you use people who know medicine. If you are going to investigate attorneys for professional misconduct, you use lawyers.

The common thread is that you use people who know how to conduct an investigation of the type required. There is no question that retired FBI agent Kimberly Crawford or that DDA Lamar Sims know how to conduct that type of investigation. Crawford is white, Sims is black. Both have impeccable credentials.

In both reports, the investigators followed the law. You don’t get to Monday morning quarterback, you look at the facts that the officer at the scene had at the time. And the facts point to the conclusion that Loehmann made a reasonable decision, with the information that he had and the time and space that he had to operate with.

Had I shot that guy with the hacksaw, I would have been justified in doing so—it appeared to me at the time that he was drawing a handgun, presumably to kill me and my partner. Loehmann was justified in shooting Rice—it appeared to him at the time that he was drawing a handgun, presumably to kill Loehmann and his partner.

That’s what it boils down to. Facts, as they appeared to the individual at the scene, at the time of the incident.

The death of Rice was a tragedy. I cannot image the pain that the family is going through.

It was not, however, a crime.

61 Comments on this post.

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  • Tamir Rice: Bad Law And Worse “Law” | Simple Justice
    13 October 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    […] left little doubt as to how I view the murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.  Others disagree, with a heavy dose of “cop perspective” that an outsider can’t appreciate.  To […]

  • bmaz
    13 October 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

    What a load of simpering cop horseshit.

    • Jim48043
      13 October 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Agree

    • Jim48043
      13 October 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Agree w bmaz. More, not less, is required of those who are entrusted with shields and guns.

      • Greg Prickett
        13 October 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

        Thank both of you for your insightful input that adds so much to the conversation.

  • delurking
    13 October 2015 at 11:24 am - Reply

    “Hell, when I first started in police work, I tried to draw my revolver and shoot an individual about 20 feet in front of me. I wasn’t fast enough, and it was a good thing, because the black pistol grip that the individual had grabbed was attached to a hacksaw.”

    It is just astonishing to me that this individual thinks this is OK. He is basically saying it is morally OK for police to shoot people even if they don’t see a weapon. If they think there might be a weapon, that is good enough. Just on basic principles in an idealized world where no one ever lies, this is an absurd position. This points out the depravity of the current police attitude towards non-police-officers.

    As a practical matter, it is even worse. We all know police are human beings. Just like anyone else, they can get upset or make mistakes. So, let’s imagine a police officer just loses his temper and kills someone. Under the policy this officer supports, if the officer says he thought the dead guy had a weapon, there are no consequences.
    So, officer, surely you will not claim that police officers never lose their temper and shoot someone (or beat someone up)? Now, honestly, tell me what fraction of police officers who do that will say, “Oh, I lost my temper and shot him”, and what fraction will say “I thought he had a weapon”?

    Officer, you support a policy that allows police to murder. I am shocked that you look back on that incident you describe and think that you would have been justified in shooting that guy because you were sure he had a gun even though you didn’t see one. I am shocked that you didn’t learn what anyone with a non-depraved attitude would have taken from it, which is that they shouldn’t shoot people unless they can actually see a threat.

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      It’s astonishing to me that you would think that it is not OK for an officer to act on what is perceived to be a deadly threat.

      The scenario that I described would not only protect a police officer who shot the individual with a hacksaw, but would also, under the reasonable person standard described by Scott at the end of his post, protect the average citizen.

      No one, either a police officer or a civilian, has to wait until the other person starts to actually shoot a pistol at him in order to take defensive measures. It’s not a double standard that I propose, but the same standard for both. If someone is gripping a black pistol grip and drawing it out of their pants, do you really expect anyone, whether an officer or not, to wait until they can read the serial number of the pistol before they defend themselves?

      You are setting up an impossible standard, where if the individual is drawing a pistol, the officer or civilian will be dead 98% of the time.

      • delurking
        13 October 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

        Just yesterday morning I was standing in line at Dunkin Donuts. The guy in front of me started turning towards me and my son and HOLY CRAP he’s putting his hand on the pistol on his hip! Can I shoot now?

        A few seconds later he took his hand off the pistol on his hip. Whew, I guess he is lucky nobody shot him because that would have been justified.

        You are setting up a strawman with your “read the serial number” comment. What you should have learned from your encounter is that you need to wait long enough to tell if the black grip is attached to a gun and not a hacksaw.

        Your standard is that your perception of a deadly threat is enough. My opinion is that you have a depraved attitude toward human life, because far too many innocuous movements of our hands can be perceived as a deadly threat. Just look at all of the police shootings of unarmed people that make the news, where the police report says “he moved his hands towards his waistband”. Firstly, the natural resting position of our hands is near our waistband, so moving one’s hands towards one’s waistband cannot ever be a justification for killing. Secondly, I note you didn’t try to answer my question about what fraction of police officers would fess up and say they shot someone for no good reason. The reason for that is obvious – you know that nearly 100% would lie, and say something like “he moved his hands towards his waistband”. So, when you have a policy that such a flimsy perception of threat can be justification for killing, you wind up with too many dead innocent people.

        Finally, in the real world, a police officer and a civilian are treated very differently when they shoot people. Please do not try to pretend this is not true.

  • John
    13 October 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Well, ok but do you understand how this seems a touch unreasonable to people who are not cops and fear running across one at some point?

    It seems to me that cops lives are valued far more in this definition of “reasonable” than anybody else’s.

  • RA Jameson
    13 October 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Does it matter that Ohio is an open carry state? How can it be a capital offense to openly carry a real pistol in an open carry state?

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      No, it doesn’t matter. If someone is reaching for what appears to be a gun, whether openly carried or not, a person (officer or not) is entitled to defend themself.

      • RA Jameson
        13 October 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

        I appreciate your candor. Am I to understand then, in an open carry state like Ohio, that if one chooses to openly carry, but keeps their hand on the grip of the gun, they can be shot by the police without recourse to the police?

        • Greg Prickett
          13 October 2015 at 2:15 pm - Reply

          That’s a strawman.

          It is not what happened here, nor have I found where it has ever happened the way you described.

          What happened here, according to Leohmann, is that Rice reached for the toy gun. The video appears to support that.

          Anyone, police officer or civilian, would have had the right to defend themselves.

          • RA Jameson
            13 October 2015 at 2:20 pm -
          • delurking
            14 October 2015 at 10:59 am -

            So if it hadn’t been Tamir Rice standing there, but instead RA Jameson with his openly-carried real pistol on his hip, and a cop car had come screaming up to him (just like we saw in the video) and the cops jumped out already drawing their pistols (just like we saw in the video) then RA Jameson would have been justified in drawing his own pistol and trying to shoot them?

            Somehow I doubt you believe that law or policy would justify such a response.

          • Richard
            10 November 2015 at 10:19 am -

            Whoa, the video _does_NOT_ support that he reached for a gun. The video supports that he _lifted_ up his shirt to _display_ the gun, there is a _big_ difference.

          • shg
            10 November 2015 at 10:27 am -

            I think your keyboard is broken.

      • RA Jameson
        13 October 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

        If it helps, here is a statement from the Cleveland Police Department on how to treat those that openly carry.
        http://ohioccw.org/files/OFCC-14-117-OPEN-CARRY-OF-FIREARMS-IN-PUBLIC.pdf

        “Open carry of a firearm by itself does not support a charge of Disorderly Conduct or Inducing Panic. There must be additional facts to support these offenses. If someone is lawfully carrying a firearm, and doing nothing else illegal, the fact that it causes alarm toothers does not support this charge.

        When an officer encounters a person openly carrying a firearm, and no other criminal activity is observed or suspected, the officer may ask the person questions in a casual manner. Ensure the encounter is obviously consensual by informing the person they are free to leave and officers are not positioned in a manner that blocks the person’s path. Citizens may ignore requests for information during a consensual encounter (i.e. they do not have to answer any questions).”

        Does that change anything for you?

      • space tank
        13 October 2015 at 2:00 pm - Reply

        If someone is reaching for, or just carries in their waistband, what appears to be a gun, whether openly carried or not, a person is entitled to defend themselves. Then when that second person reaches for their gun to defend themselves, it’s within the first person’s rights to defend themselves. That means both parties are legally entitled to have Old West shootouts in the streets. Everyone should stand their ground constantly….

        Holy shit.
        Do you listen to your self?

        • RA Jameson
          13 October 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

          I appreciate your perspective. I believe what it means is that the onus is on the police to de-escalate the situation by having a calm conversation with the individual carrying a handgun.

          At least that is what the Cleveland PD statement concerning this exact situation called for.

          I have to wonder, do they even listen to themselves?

          • Greg Prickett
            13 October 2015 at 2:25 pm -

            The Cleveland Police statement didn’t say to have a calm conversation with someone who is reaching for a gun.

            There is a difference between openly carrying and reaching for a handgun.

          • RA Jameson
            13 October 2015 at 2:31 pm -

            On the contrary, sir…it did call for a calm conversation:
            “the officer may ask the person questions in a casual manner. Ensure the encounter is obviously consensual by informing the person they are free to leave and officers are not positioned in a manner that blocks the person’s path.”

            Unless we are going to parse the difference between “calm” and “casual”.

          • Greg Prickett
            13 October 2015 at 2:36 pm -

            Please show me the exact place in the document that it says that the police are supposed to ask questions in a casual manner while the individual is reaching for a gun.

            It’s not in there. Nor should it be.

          • RA Jameson
            13 October 2015 at 2:40 pm -

            Here:
            “Local municipal laws may only regulate the discharge of firearms and, if any, other areas that do not fall within the prohibited areas listed above. Therefore, officers should not charge individuals with violations of Cleveland Codified Ordinances (CCO) as they pertain to firearms, simply for openly carrying a firearm.”

            The use of force MUST exceed the mere carrying of a firearm. Another crime MUST be suspected or committed. Until then, they are required to engage the individual with a casual conversation.

          • Greg Prickett
            13 October 2015 at 4:35 pm -

            That said nothing at all about talking calmly to a person who is reaching for a gun.

            You are ignoring the part that follows:

            “if someone is lawfully carrying a firearm, and doing nothing else illegal” (emphasis in original).

            You see, reaching for a gun under those circumstances could be violation of the brandishing law, among others.

          • RA Jameson
            13 October 2015 at 4:57 pm -

            I believe that you are mistaken:
            “Open carry of a firearm by itself does not support a charge of Disorderly Conduct or
            Inducing Panic. There must be additional facts to support these offenses. If someone is lawfully carrying a firearm, and doing nothing else illegal, the fact that it causes alarm to
            others does not support this charge.”

            But what do I know?

        • Greg Prickett
          13 October 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

          That’s not what anyone, least of all me, said.

          Re-read the statements I have made on it. If you don’t understand, ask, and I’ll explain it to you.

  • John
    13 October 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Greg,

    Is Ohio an open carry state? Simple yes or no. We can clarify further as we continue if you deign to answer.

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      I’m not “deigning” to answer. Some of us work, I was in court this morning.

      I don’t have a clue whether Ohio is an open carry state or not, and it is not relevant to the matter. Leohmann stated (see Sims report) that Rice was reaching for a gun.

      Open carry does not mean that you can reach for an openly carried gun any more that you can reach for a concealed gun. Either action justifies self-defense.

      • John
        13 October 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

        “Leohmann stated (see Sims report) that Rice was reaching for a gun.”

        Does the video uphold that statement?

        “Some of us work, I was in court this morning. ”

        I will take that insult and point out that I am, in fact, employed full time in a white collar tech job. So, good for you, you were in court this morning. The ‘deign’ was more that I suspected you *wouldn’t* reply because, honestly, most authors wouldn’t. You did, so I applaud you. You did it with an attached insult suggesting that I had no job, so I am not surprised at all.

        • Greg Prickett
          13 October 2015 at 2:30 pm - Reply

          That was not meant to indicate that you did not have a job. Some people work other than 8 to 5. I worked rotating shifts for years myself.

          The video, which is grainy and from a good distance away, shows that Rice may have been reaching for his waist area. It’s not clear enough to state for sure one way or another.

  • Jeff
    13 October 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    I’m looking at the Ohio open carry law, and I can’t seem to find the part where it says, “unless you’re a bigger than average black child.”

  • Rob
    13 October 2015 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Is Ohio not an open-carry state?

    Was the late Mr. Rice moving an a manner so as to aim his purportedly real-looking toy gun at the officer who was in the process of jumping out of the still-moving vehicle?

    Did the toy gun not have the safety-orange tip? And even if not, I ask again – is Ohio not an open-carry state?

    Because if Ohio is an open-carry state, even if the impression of an officer _were_ that there was a man there carrying a gun, that is perfectly legal behavior, and I don’t think that perfectly legal behavior should be subject to summary execution.

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      The toy gun did not have an orange tip.

      Even if it did, open carry is not relevant, as noted above.

      • John
        13 October 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

        If the gun was in his waistband, the tip wouldn’t be seen regardless, so whether it was there or not is irrelevant and couldn’t be used as an excuse for why an office thought it was real or not.

  • Dave
    13 October 2015 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    How does all of that reconcile w/Ohio is an Open Carry state and that presumably, an “adult” with a gun in the waistband being in a park, sitting at a table, walking around, is perfectly legal? Do Police in Ohio need to treat every person they encounter that is suspected of having a weapon as a threat?

  • Tom Hillgardner
    13 October 2015 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    You are a lawyer? You seem clueless that Ohio is an open carry state. How can any cop ever justifiably shoot a 20-yo merely for having a gun in his waistband in an open carry state?

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’m a lawyer in Texas.

      Merely having a gun in the waistband is not justification, and no one has said that it was.

      Leohman stated (as noted in Sims’ report) that Rice was reaching for the gun.

      That’s justification in any state, open carry or not.

      • RA Jameson
        13 October 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

        “[reaching for the gun] is justification in any state, open carry or not.”

        Again, sir, I beg to differ. The Cleveland PD statement indicates that they can only police the DISCHARGE of a firearm UNLESS another crime is being committed.

        “Local municipal laws may only regulate the discharge of firearms and, if any, other areas that do not fall within the prohibited areas listed above. Therefore, officers should not charge individuals with violations of Cleveland Codified Ordinances (CCO) as they pertain to firearms, simply for openly carrying a firearm.”

        As such, he could have had it in his hand, and unless he was suspected of committing an actual crime, a conversation was required before force.

        • Greg Prickett
          13 October 2015 at 4:38 pm - Reply

          Nope.

          You’re wrong on the statement and the law.

          • RA Jameson
            13 October 2015 at 4:58 pm -

            I guess we disagree. Thank you for taking time to respond.

  • James Gordon
    13 October 2015 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Sadly, I think (based on the facts known to date) that Prickett is correct that the officer committed no crime when he shot and killed Tamir Rice. Sadly, because I think everyone agrees that the shooting is a tragedy. That being said, Tamir’s family probably has an excellent wrongful death action against the PD. The police dispatcher was told by a witness that Tamir was sitting on a swing, was probably a juvenile, and that the gun was probably a fake. Dispatch did not accurately convey this information to the patrol unit. Instead, dispatch said there was a male sitting on the swings pointing a gun at people (probably juvenile, probably fake gun omitted). The only information conveyed to the officers presents as a very grave situation. Accordingly, the dispatcher’s failure to provide relevant information increased the risk to Tamir. In addition, the way the police officers approached Tamir was inappropriate. In such a situation, it would have been more appropriate for the police to take a position farther from Tamir where they had cover before confronting him. As it was, the approach the police took gave Tamir maybe 2 seconds to understand what was happening and to react to those events in appropriate manner. Tamir deserves no blame for how he reacted. He had grossly inadequate time to orient himself to what was happening and to decide how to act. He was playing in the park when suddenly a police car skids to a halt near him and an officer jumps out of the car pointing a gun at him. Almost no one would have time to hear and process any command the officer did yell. By putting Tamir in a position where he had inadequate time to understand what was happening, the officers dramatically increased the risk to Tamir. While the officers may not have acted criminally, they acted in a manner that exposed Tamir (and themselves) to unnecessary risk.

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Exactly.

      Well stated.

  • John
    13 October 2015 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    How does one “reach for a gun” unless he actually reaches the gun? Is the person also not potentially “reaching” for a place to rest his hands? His pocket? To wipe dust off his jeans? “Reaching” is one of the many fictions that activates the first rule of policing.

    Graham v. Connor is an open license to kill without meaningful justification, and in a society that actually looked at it’s ills head on wouldn’t survive for a moment. Balko is right – we need to stop playing on the killer’s court and debating the mechanic’s of this horrible SCOTUS decision. As per Balko – the question we need to start asking ourselves “Do we find this shooting morally unacceptable?”.

    If the answer is yes, then we need to start pushing for a standard of accountability in policing, prosecutors, and the courts that puts makes “protect and serve” a truth again, and the costume worn by cops today back into a uniform of honor. Graham v. Connor only defines the limits; communities can have stronger standards.

    • shg
      13 October 2015 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      As per Balko – the question we need to start asking ourselves “Do we find this shooting morally unacceptable?”

      The day we start prosecuting anyone on the basis of “do we (whoever “we” is) find this morally unacceptable” will be the end of civilization. And it will go a million times worse on citizens than cops if we replace law with some vague sense of morality. This is the worst of all ideas.

      • John
        13 October 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

        Re-read the last paragraph, and let me know where I call for prosecutions based on moral parameters.

        • shg
          13 October 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

          So I should ignore the portion of your comment I quoted? Okay then.

          • John
            13 October 2015 at 11:58 pm -

            The part you quoted? You mean the question I ask before positing a course of action? Using deontological language in a question to determine if action needs to be taken does not presuppose that those action(s) will flow from the same source. Your mistake happened here. You equated a single word in the question with the action that might be taken.

            Again, I’ll point out you skipped the last paragraph, which carried the action if the question is answered in the affirmative: “…we need to start pushing for a standard of accountability…”. The mechanism for that accountability is implied to be under the existing precepts of the legal framework that exists. I even hinted heavily with the “Graham v. Connor” and “communities can have stronger standard” references.

            A reader of some modest sense would realize that any other framework would have been an extraordinary claim that would need to have been called out as such. For example, this accountability can only be achieved through lex talionis. Or with unicorns. I didn’t do this because I wasn’t calling for either. You did, however, do so all on your own.

            If I was to pick a random word in the question to presuppose an action to be taken – as you had, I would have chosen “Do”. I would have even chosen it twice (if you’re going to be off target, then I say be the Forest Gump of marksmen). Then I could, using your logic to deduce that “The day we start prosecuting anyone on the basis of do-do will be the end of civilization.” I would counter that we may already be there.

            But regardless, keep having fun tilting at the Cray-Cray Windmill of Misrepresentation* to support the unsupportable. However, your argument looks to be based on a pile of do-do to me.

            * Best rock band name ever. Dibs.

  • bmaz
    13 October 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Well. I see the good Officer Prickett termed one or more of the responses above “astonishing”.

    I’d arise the oh so pious office to take a good sober look in the mirror.

    Frankly, his discussion of what is “legal” borders on childish nonsense in contemplation of the full panoply of the law. No, good officer, it is not a choice between “murder” or a “hunky dory righteous kill”. And you belie the entire purpose of this forum by such shallow and trite framing.

    But that is exactly what I would expect from a self serving cop apologist. And boy did you deliver.

    As to Radley, he can be forgiven, he is not an attorney in this area of the law, in spite of his consistently awesome work on the subject matter. His sentiments, even if somewhat inartfully framed are not wrong, just short of acknowledging that there needs to be a law change, not a “feels” change. And it is not just Graham v. Connor, but also other cases like Tennessee v. Garner that need to be revisited.

    More than that though, because law will never be enough, it is the craven attitude of apologist cops like the oh so pious Office Prickett, that need to change. People like Prickett are going to have to decide if they are going to be the last apologists for heinous wrongs, or avatars of a more enlightened change. I won’t be holding my breath based on what I read here today.

  • bmaz
    13 October 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Dang it, I have a new computer, and we are not one yet.

    “I’d arise the oh so pious office to take a good sober look in the mirror.”

    Should read:

    I’d advise the oh so pious officer to take a good sober look in the mirror.

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your input.

  • Eva
    13 October 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I have questions about all this. I agree with the part about what was disseminated to the police and how they probably arrived to their conclusions but if in fact Tamir was a adult with a gun intent on mayhem don’t you think that he would of been laying down fire as soon as he saw those cops driving so close to him in the first place apparently? Wouldn’t it have been better to have the police park their car further away at safer distance in order to keep themselves safer and be in a better position to assess the situation? Again I agree with you about what the police had to work with but I would hope a more seasoned police officer would take a more prudent approach rather than just driving close to the person of interest and apparently from what I could tell shooting them.

    • Greg Prickett
      13 October 2015 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      Eva, I learned a long time ago not to expect people to act logically. When I was in the Dallas projects, one of our supervisors was getting his butt kicked by one of the locals, and a local huffer jumped in on our side and kept our guy from getting hurt. I would have thought that his brain was fried from sniffing gasoline, but he still jumped in to help.

      By the same token, I’ve seen people consent to a vehicle search when they knew that they had dope in the car, or weapons, or something that would get them arrested. I’ve seen people fight for no reason, and have had murder suspects just surrender. So there is no way of telling what an adult with a real gun would have done, and we would just be speculating.

      Finally, yeah, Garnback messed up. I’ve said this privately to others, but if he had parked at a distance instead of putting Loehmann right in front of Rice, Rice might still be alive today. That’s not criminal though, which is what the investigation was about.

      • Eva
        14 October 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

        Personally I believe that by backing up the kind of protocol that Garnback and his partner regarding Tarmir made law enforcement’s job even more dangerous.

        1. Mistrust of the way the police. People are still going to see it as a twelve year old being shot by the police despite the credible evidence that has been presented considering his physical appearance.

        2. If the police in the Ohio area stops to question a person of interest carrying a gun despite Ohio being an open carry state that kind of situation could escalate because of how Tamir’s most unfortunate situation has being handled. That person of interest could reasonably consider that well a twelve year old Tamir was shot and killed so what are my options as an adult during this kind of confrontation? Couldn’t that put law enforcement’s lives in jeopardy too?

        You’ve just indicated that you can’t determine exactly how people are going to react. That “Garnback messed up” by not parking at a distance. Garnback and his partner could of been harmed by doing what they did. They put themselves in danger by driving up so close. They must of felt the potential danger because of their quick reaction and apparent no time to properly evaluate the situation.

        Despite the question of criminality of this sad situation I believe again that by supporting what Garnback did unequivocally publicly could conceivably make law enforcement’s job just more dangerous.

        Hey, thanks for the great conversation, you’ve been grand.

        • Greg Prickett
          14 October 2015 at 2:24 pm - Reply

          I want to make one thing absolutely clear.

          I in no way, shape, or form, support what Garnback did in this matter. His driving the car up to Rice was beyond stupid and it placed Loehmann in an untenable position, with no options. Garnback, although not criminally liable, is responsible for what happened and should be fired over the matter. That’s a position I have held from the beginning.

          That does not change the fact that Loehmann’s actions were not criminal, and were objectively reasonable under the conditions and facts existing at the time of the shooting.

          • Eva
            16 October 2015 at 6:30 pm -

            Hey Greg I get what you are saying and agree with the guy being fired for this undeniably horrible situation. What I’m trying to say is that I’m hoping in general that law enforcement would publicly denounce what he had done and support the guy being fired with some public outreach regarding how they will present avenues to assist officers will know how to react and protocol as to what will happen to the officer if this terrible situation happens again.

          • Greg Prickett
            18 October 2015 at 2:08 am -

            Unfortunately, most cops will take a position that neither officer should be fired or charged.

            The standard police response is to circle the wagons and protect their own. It’s one of the problems that I address in other posts.

  • Tamir Rice: Bad Law And Worse “ | Moorbey'z Blog
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  • ChrisDorner
    28 December 2015 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    I think the 911 operator should be the one to be held accountable. While I am no means a fan of cops, in this situation i can understand why this happened. To me this is no different than when cops are killed in no-knock raids where the homeowner thinks it’s a robbery and shots the cops. In those cases Grand Jury rightfully also don’t indite because it’s the cops fault for doing no-knock raids.

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