Expert: Tamir Rice’s Hands Never Left Pockets at Time of Shooting

The biomechanics and kinetics specialist hired by Rice’s family also found that Rice’s toy gun wasn’t visible when former Officer Timothy Loehmann opened fire

A biomechanics and kinetics expert has determined that Tamir Rice’s Hands never came out of his pockets before former officer Timothy Loehmann opened fire on the 12-year-old.

Jesse Wobrock, a specialist hired by Rice’s family, found that Loehmann fired the single fatal shot in less than one second after exiting the patrol car (previous reports have said 1.7 seconds), suggesting that he had unholstered his gun while he was still in the car. Additionally, the toy gun that Rice was carrying was not visible to either Loehmann or his partner, Frank Garmback, when they first arrived on the scene.

“Based on the timing of this event, Tamir Rice did not have enough time to perceive and react to any verbal commands, which is exemplified by the fact that his right hand wads still in his jacket pocket at the time he was shot,” reads the report that Wobrock wrote.

Outside Counsel Determines Tamir Rice’s Death Was ‘Objectively Unreasonable’

Rice was fatally shot November 23, 2014 while playing with a toy gun at a public park in Cleveland. A man called 911 to report a boy playing with a gun, later noting to the operator that it was “probably fake”. The description of the gun was never passed onto officers, who, immediately upon arriving at the park, fired a single shot at the boy, who died at a hospital the following day. 

Though he was struck in the chest, the bullet hole in his jacket was significantly lower, which, Wobrock says, indicates that he was in the process of raising his hands in defense when he was shot.

Wobrock’s findings come days after Cleveland prosecutor Tim McGinty released enhanced surveillance video of the shooting. Multiple reports have found Loehmann’s actions reasonable and justified. A grand jury is currently reviewing evidence and hearing testimony to determine whether to indict Loehmann, who has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

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