Born: June 25, 2002
Place of Birth: Cleveland, OH
Died: November 22, 2014
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Career and Life
On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12-year old African-American boy, was killed in Cleveland, Ohio by Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old White-American police officer. Rice was carrying a replica toy gun; Loehmann shot him almost immediately after arriving on the scene.
Two officers, Loehmann and 46-year-old Frank Garmback, were responding to a police dispatch call regarding a male who had a gun. A caller reported that a male was pointing "a pistol" at random people at the Cudell Recreation Center, a park in the City of Cleveland's Public Works Department. At the beginning of the call and again in the middle, he says of the pistol "it's probably fake." Toward the end of the two-minute call, the caller states that "he is probably a juvenile"; however, this information was not relayed to officers Loehmann or Garmback on the initial dispatch. The officers reported that upon their arrival, they both continuously yelled "show me your hands" through the open patrol car window. Loehmann further stated that instead of showing his hands, it appeared as if Rice was trying to draw: "I knew it was a gun and I knew it was coming out." In response, the officer shot twice, hitting Rice once in the torso. He died the following day.
Rice's gun was later found to be an airsoft replica that lacked the orange-tipped barrel, which would have indicated it was a toy gun.
A surveillance video of the incident was released by the police four days after the shooting, on 26 November. On 3 June 2015, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office declared that their investigation had been completed and that they had turned their findings over to the county prosecutor. Several months later the prosecution presented evidence to a grand jury, which declined to indict, primarily on the basis that Rice was drawing what appears to be an actual firearm from his waist as the police arrived. A lawsuit brought against the city of Cleveland by Rice's family was subsequently settled for $6 million.
In the aftermath of the shooting it was revealed that Loehmann, in his previous job as a police officer in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty. Loehmann did not disclose this fact on his application to join the Cleveland police, and the Cleveland police never reviewed his previous personnel file before hiring him. In 2017, following an investigation, Loehmann was fired for withholding this information on his application.
An FBI review by retired agent Kimberly Crawford found that Rice's death was justified and Loehmann's "response was a reasonable one."
The incident received both national and international coverage, and it occurred on the heels of several other high-profile shootings of black males by police officers.
Tamir Elijah Rice was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 25, 2002, to Samaria Rice and Leonard Warner. He was athletic, enjoying basketball, football, and ping-pong. Gifted in both football and basketball, Rice was known for his tight football spiral and regularly joined pick up games with high schoolers, winning the respect of his peers by frequently making open three-pointers. He was involved in arts programs in his community, sculpting pottery and crocheting embroidery for his mother. At the time of his death, Rice attended Marion-Seltzer Elementary School in Cleveland, where he was described as a "pleasant young man."