- According to an incident report published this week, Cleveland police wanted to charge 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by a police officer as he held a toy gun, with "aggravated menacing" and "inducing panic."
- The report, which was published by The Daily Kos's Shaun King, is dated November 29, 2014, a week after Officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Rice.
- Rice's shooting death, which was ruled a homicide, was caught on video. The footage conflicts with the charges in the incident report: it shows him playing alone before Loehmann — responding to a call about a gun that is "probably fake" — approaches him and shoots him within two seconds.
The report lists Rice's victims as: the state of Ohio, Officer Loehmann (who shot and killed him), and Frank Garmack, another officer who responded to the call. It says Loehmann suffered " minor injuries," although the video makes clear that he had no contact with Rice.
It notes that the complaint against Rice was "abated by death," but its contents suggest the charges police might have pushed for had Rice survived and had the incident not been captured on video.
It's already been established that the 12-year-old wasn't at fault
The charges against Rice listed in the report are all the more jarring because it's well-established that Rice didn't do anything wrong. The city has already retracted a statement that the 12-year-old's death was caused by a "lack of due care" on his part, and apologized to his family.
Vox's German Lopez reported in March:
The city of Cleveland argued in court that Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy, caused his own death when a police officer shot and killed him after mistaking Rice's pellet gun for an actual firearm. But following criticisms over the accusation, city officials apologized and vowed to change the language in a future court document.
"This is not the character or personality of the city of Cleveland ... to be that insensitive to family or even to victims," Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said at a news conference on Monday, Cleveland.com reported.
The city originally presented the argument in a court document responding to a lawsuit from the Rice family. The response stated that Rice's death was caused "by the failure ... to exercise due care to avoid injury," according to Cleveland.com. It also said that all of the injuries claimed by his family "were directly and proximately caused by their own acts," not Timothy Loehmann, the officer who fatally shot Rice.
Meanwhile, the investigation into Rice's death is dragging on
Police have said they believed Rice's toy gun was a real firearm. Although a 911 caller told a dispatcher that a child was waving a gun around in the park but that it was "probably fake," the full information was, according to authorities, not relayed to the officers on the scene.
But court investigators still haven't questioned them, according to a report from Mother Jones's Jaeah Lee. As Lopez has reported, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office took over the investigation into the shooting in January. But the investigation has dragged on, now taking longer than the queries into the police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott.
Read the full report
Watch: Why it's so important to film police