Experts: Tamir Rice shooting was ‘justified’

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Tamir Rice. Photo Credit: Timothy Kucharski via WJW

CLEVELAND — Two investigations by outside law enforcement experts say a white Cleveland police officer was justified when he fatally shot a 12-year-old black boy holding a pellet gun last year.

Reports from a retired FBI agent and a Denver prosecutor were included in documents released Saturday by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, which asked for the outside reviews. Both concluded patrolman Timothy Loehmann had reason to perceive Tamir Rice as a threat before shooting him last November.

Retired FBI agent Kimberly A. Crawford concluded that Loehmann had reason to perceive the boy as a serious threat when he shot him two seconds after his cruiser pulled up.

The prosecutor’s office says a grand jury will ultimately decide if Loehmann should face criminal charges, but hasn’t said when.