Today, Cleveland Police released a surveillance camera video police shooting a 12 year old boy armed with an soft pellet pistol. While the police are saying the kid picked up the gun off of a picnic table and then reached for it, in spite of the poor quality of the video, it appears to me that he was already holding the gun, then put it in his waistband pointing at his own junk, and then was immediately shot by a cop who had just pulled up in a police car at point-blank range.
The short version of the video has talking heads giving the police version. The long version, over seven minutes, shows the 911 caller sitting at the picnic table at first, then the kid walking around, sometimes waving the toy gun, sometimes playing in the snow, sometimes just sitting at the table. What I see is the police pulling up within three feet of the kid, the kid putting the gun into his waistband, and then being immediately shot by the cop. I wasn’t able to fast forward it, and the action starts at about 6:30 into it.
It IS clear that the police were not ten feet away, as they claim, and that at no time did this child point the gun at them. It looks like he saw the cops, thought “uh-oh,” and tried to hide the toy gun, like kids will do.
The local media, which was all over this story yesterday in conjunction with the street protests in downtown Cleveland, is now hardly talking about it, mouthing platitudes such as “the video raises more questions than answers.” The video looks pretty damned clear to me that this child was just blown away without being given a chance to drop the gun and put his hands up. If anything, it will outrage the community even more, in the wake of several questionable, and that’s putting it mildly, civilian deaths at the hands of Cleveland police over the last couple of years.
I don’t see any way that this is a justified shooting by police. What do you think?
CPD VIDEO: Shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice *WARNING VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED*