From his office, Nov.12 (but paraphrased just a li’l bit):
Since I’m sworn to uphold the law and seek some brand of justice in every case, public opinion can get in the way of said ‘justice’. Sure, I could just arrest Peace Officeers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garman as Judge Adrine suggested I do back in June. That might be the easy way out, but see…it totally lacks the transparency that the public deserves. Were I to simply arrest them send them to pre-trial hearings, I’d never even have to say what facts influenced me. Thus, I’ve decided that in every use of deadly force case to allow another separate and neutral police agency to investigate and review every possible shred of evidence and present it to the Grand Jury.
My abiding faith in the integrity of the citizens of Cleveland allows me to be confidant that after hearing all the evidence, the Grand Jurors will make a fair and honorable decision. Now some are of the opinion that I am blasting them with so much irrelevant evidence that they will start tuning it out; others only believe their lying eyes as they watch the initial video from the Cudell Recreation Center.
This completely open and transparent protocol will allow ‘experts’ to describe the facts of the case, rather than resorting to the biased interpretations of videos,’rookie cop mental health, or reflexive smears against Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs).
In that same spirit of openness and transparency, I am offering video from a security camera at the rec center, plus a thirteen-page deadly force analyis of this case by W. Ken Katsaris, a veteran law enforcement officer and nationally recognized instructor, who testified for the State of Ohio in the manslaughter trial of Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo. And please remember as you read it that he’d even called Brelo’s actions standing on a hood of a car and firing 18 rounds into two armed suspects “foolish and objectively unreasonable”. He really is an unbiased expert in the use of deadly force, as were the other two ‘experts’ who issued similar reports earlier.
Now on the right sidebar, you’ll note that in order to see the video, you’ll need to find a way to unzip it, given that the camera used a proprietary digital system. And you will not a link to the Kastaris Report and Opinions (pdf) in the same box.
Please note as well that when I’d accused Tamir’s mother of having an economic incentive to move the case along, I’d really been reacting to one of her serial civil attorney’s attacks on the Grand Jury process. The timing of my release has nothing whatsoever to do with area clergy calling for a special prosecutor a few hours ago. Nothing.
Now luckily the Cleveland Plain Dealer discovered how to ‘unzip the proprietary camera software’, and released this portion of the video; the rest they’ll release later, but this is apparently the relevant footage. See what you can see, if you will; it’s hard for me to see anything much…
Evan McDonald at the Plain Dealer offers some help:
“The new video shows a mail carrier get into his truck and leave moments before Loehmann and Garmback arrived in their police cruiser.
Garmback drove the car over the curb and between trees and a swing set directly beside the gazebo where Tamir sat. As the car skidded to a stop, Loehmann got out of the passenger seat and fired two shots, hitting Tamir once in the abdomen.
Investigators said Loehmann fired after seeing Tamir move his hands toward his waistband and lift his shirt.
After the shooting, police learned that Tamir was 12 years old, and that the gun was actually a replica Colt 911 airsoft gun that shot plastic pellets. The gun’s orange safety tip had been removed.
Tamir’s then-14-year-old sister ran toward the gazebo after hearing the gunshots. When she arrived, Garmback forced her to the ground, and Loehmann helped handcuff her and place in the back of the police car.
Officers then stood around Tamir as he lay wounded. An FBI agent, who was in the neighborhood, arrived four minutes after the shooting and began to administer first aid.
Paramedics arrived approximately eight minutes after the shooting.”
The few reports I’ve seen concerning The Kastaris Report are much the same, and quote him as saying:
“This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life, but to compound the tragedy by labeling the officers’ conduct as anything but objectively reasonable would also be a tragedy, albeit not carrying with it the consequences of the loss of life, only the possibility of loss of career.”
He blew by the confusion of the calls to dispatch v. what the dispatcher radioed to the cops as irrelevant, because: ambiguous description, reasonable fear, size, looked like a gun, yada, yada.
But the Plain Dealer adds more, much of it…simply bullshit, in my opinion:
“Katsaris also found no fault in Garmback’s approach.
When Garmback drove over a curb and into the park outside the recreation center looking for Tamir, he likely didn’t expect Tamir to be sitting at the gazebo, Katsaris wrote.
He noted the 40-foot skid marks the cruiser left in the grass as evidence that Garmback slammed on the brakes when he saw Tamir stand up and walk toward the cruiser.
All of this is evidence that Garmback’s approach toward Tamir was “not by necessity, but by choice,” Katsaris wrote. And Garmback would have put himself and his partner in danger by attempting to then move the cruiser.
“With the identified subject (Rice) approaching the police vehicle, and
appearing to lift his jacket and reach for the waist area of his pants, the potential threat from possible gunfire at the officers, while making any attempt to move the vehicle, would place them at significant risk of injury or death,” Katsaris wrote.
Katsaris also concluded that Loehmann acted reasonably in response to what he felt was a threat of gunfire from an armed suspect.
As the cruiser skidded to a stop, Loehmann would have been looking at Tamir’s hands, Katsaris wrote. Tamir, who Loehmann believed was armed with a gun at the time, reached toward his waistband just as Loehmann jumped from the cruiser.
“This decision, in my opinion, was clearly objectively reasonable, given the totality of the circumstances,” Katsaris wrote.
One of the attorneys representing Smaria Rice family, Subodh Chandra, laid it out this way:
“”With this report’s release, the prosecutor continues blindsiding the Rice family to deflect from his recent insult of Ms. Rice and from [his] own odd conduct of the matter,” Chandra wrote. “He failed to share with the family the report from this longtime police-affiliated individual, or seek constructive comment.”
Chandra also rejected the report’s conclusion, saying it was as flawed as the first two McGinty released.
“It assumes non-existent facts — like what the officers were thinking when the officers have not testified, and ignores other critical facts — including the fact the officers rushed up and Officer Loehmann fired immediately, the fact that Ohio is an open-carry state, and that the officers left a 12-year-old boy bleeding and dying on the ground without administering first aid,” Chandra said.”
Other questions of significance: Did he ‘reach for his waistband? Why would he, knowing that his gun was a toy? Just goofin’ around? Slid in the mud for 40 feet, or did the cruiser simply leave tracks in the mud? Who cares? They didn’t have to jam to the gazebo and shoot him like a dog within seconds? Is there any reason to believe Loehman ‘saw his hands lift his shirt’? Why did they tackle Tamir’s sister, cuff her, all the while Tamir lay bleeding on the ground? Is that the innuendo of which you spoke, Tim McGinty? Or are you a bit too cozy with the Cleveland Patrolman’s Association?
It’s certainly clear that you don’t mean for the grand jurors to hear any evidence that might cause them to indict Loehman or Garmback, but along the way, if Gov. Kasich does happen to wise up and appoint a Special Prosecutor, you would have done a lot of damage by poisoning the potential jury pool. Piss off, you unholy prostitutor.
Updated: via the Guardian: ‘Death of Ralkina Jones in Cleveland jail cell ruled accidental. The 37-year-old had a heart condition that causes changes in heart rate when a person stands up, says Cuyahoga County medical examiner
“Jones was found unresponsive on 26 July at the Cleveland Heights jail. Paramedics had taken her to a medical clinic the previous night because she appeared lethargic. Authorities said they continued checking on Jones after she was returned to jail.
Police body camera footage recorded Jones saying she didn’t want to die in a jail cell about 15 hours before her body was found. The footage also shows her talking about medical problems she had, which included a heart condition, seizures and depression.
Jones had been arrested two days earlier after a reported altercation with a former spouse, police said.”
But the City said that it will upgrade its surveillance system given that many had wondered about gaps in the videos of Jones. And they will review their jail protocols on drug dispensing and record-keeping. And why the fuque did they bring her back to the jail? Smells like depraved indifference at the very least.
But ain’t this just too adorable for words?