Tamir Rice Shooting: Can You Pick Out Which Is A Real Gun?

Did you catch this yesterday?

(ABC News) An Ohio Grand Jury has declined to indict two police officers in the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was shot dead by a Cleveland police officer last year, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said today. (snip)

Tamir was holding a toy gun when he was shot by officer Timothy Loehmann at a Cleveland playground in November 2014. The grand jury was hearing evidence to determine if any charges would be brought against Loehmann or his partner, Frank Garmback. (snip)

Matthew Meyer, chief prosecutor of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s public corruption unit, said the officer who shot Tamir was “tragically mistaken” and didn’t know until it was too late that Tamir posed no threat to the officers or the community.

Meyer said the shooting was the result of a “tragic confluence of events”: Tamir appeared much older and larger than 12 years old; officers believed it was a real gun; the rec center security monitors were kept in a locked room and were not monitored by the on-duty guard.

What did the gun look like?

A photo released today by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office shows what it says is a real gun next to the replica gun 12-year-old Tamir Rice had the day he was shot dead by a Cleveland, Ohio, police officer.

Can you tell? I suppose if you are a big gun enthusiast. Maybe if you look long enough, you’ll be able to correctly guess. The officers didn’t. They had seconds.

The report said that an orange tip that would normally be on the fake gun was removed along with its laser sight in Tamir’s case. Typically there is a warning on the packaging indicating that removing the orange tip of the gun “is dangerous, may cause confusion, may be mistaken to be a real firearm by law enforcement officers or others and may be a crime.”

“Although there is evidence that on the day of the incident, at least two people warned Tamir about the dangerousness of using the gun in a public place, there is no evidence that Tamir ever saw any warnings from the gun’s packaging,” the report said.

Rather changes the dynamics of the situation, wouldn’t you say?

Ace, though, at Ace of Spades HQ, makes an interesting point about the officers rolling up and not really leaving themselves the proper time to make a judgement call, and that the grand jury decision is a pretty tough call either way. And that, perhaps, we don’t need trigger happy cops on the streets. Also

And What If the Gun Had Been Real? I don’t mean that as an exculpatory hypothetical — I mean, if the gun had been real, why would someone carrying a gun be shot so quickly in an Open Carry state?

An interesting point. The officers claim that Rice reached into his waistband and pulled the gun out upon them pulling up. A man who called 911 about Rice, resulting in the officers being dispatched, said he feared for his life and that Tamir had point the gun at a woman’s face. He did tell 911 that the gun was probably fake, but, he didn’t know for sure. And that he had been pulling it out of his pants a lot and pointing it.

So, yes, it’s a tragic confluence of events.

But, it’s not about racism.

Oh, and which gun is fake? The top one.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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