Prosecutors claim that a newly released and enhanced video showing the death of Tamir Rice indicated that “the 12-year-old boy reaching for his pellet gun moments before he was fatally shot by police.”
The slightly clearer still images will be presented to a grand jury that will decide if patrolman Timothy Loehmann or officer Frank Garmback should be charged over the death of Tamir last November.
The two videos do not appear to show any new substantive movement but an annotation on one of the clips suggests Tamir moved his hand towards his waistband in the instant before he was shot, according to the prosecution.
The still images were taken by a security camera at Cudell Recreation Center. They show different angles than video of the incident previously released.
Police officials initially said that Loehmann, 26, yelled three times at Tamir to raise his hands, a claim witnesses have denied and no footage has shown.
The images back up later claims that the officer shot Tamir within two seconds of jumping out of a car.
The young boy had been holding a pellet gun moments before police arrived.
He was shot once in the torso and died on the operating table a day later.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said the new footage was released in the ‘spirit of openness’.
‘Once again … we are not reaching any conclusions from these or other isolated bits of evidence,’ McGinty said. ‘Individually they are simply pieces of a complex puzzle.’
Loehmann and Garmback, 47, were responding to a call about a young man waving and pointing a gun outside the rec center. A 911 caller had also said the gun might be a fake and the man could be a juvenile, but that information was never relayed to the officers.
A friend told deputies he had given the pellet gun to Tamir hours before the shooting with the warning to be careful because it looked real, according to court documents.
He said he had taken the gun apart to fix it and been unable to reattach the orange cap that goes on the barrel to indicate it isn’t the .45-caliber handgun it is modeled after.