Cleveland police have released video showing a 12-year old boy being shot by a police officer while carrying an airsoft gun. The child, Tamir Rice, later died in a hospital.
Police were responding to a 911 call on Saturday where a man reported somebody waving a gun around a playground. Audio of the call was played at the press conference on Tuesday, according to Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC.
"The guy keeps pulling it out," the 911 caller said, according to the station. "It's probably fake, but you know what, he's scaring the (expletive) out of (inaudible). … He's sitting on the swing right now, but he keeps pulling it in and out of his pants and pointing it at people. Probably a juvenile, you know? … I don't know if it's real or not, you know?"
The police weren't told that the gun might not be real, according to dispatch calls. In the video, police can be seen pulling up to the playground and almost immediately shooting the 12-year old. The child reaches into his pants just before being shot, which is consistent with the account police have repeatedly given about the incident. Though audio cannot be heard in the video, police maintain that Rice was told to raise his hands above his head.
The graphic video comes as protests erupt across the country in response to the the non-indictment of Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson for the death of teenager Michael Brown. A core objective of the protests is to institute changes into how police-related shootings are handled by authorities and the court system.
The Cleveland shooting has sparked an investigation of the officer's use of force. No arrests have been made in the incident.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.