An autopsy report released today declared the police shooting death of a 12-year-old Cleveland boy to be a homicide. The report issued today by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner found that Tamir Rice died of one shot to the abdomen. The boy, who was black, was shot on November 22 by a white police officer "responding to a call of a suspect waving a handgun around." The sixth-grader was in fact holding a toy replica that shoots plastic pellets. He died the next day. The officers involved have not been charged with a crime, and are currently on paid leave.
The shooting came at a time of heightened national scrutiny of police use of force and two days before a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Rice was shot less than two seconds after the police car pulled up beside him in the park, police have said. They also released a security video of Rice in the park before and during the shooting.
Rice was 5 feet 7 inches tall and 195 pounds, according to the autopsy report.
Rice's mother, Samaria Rice, said on Monday the officers involved should be convicted. The family filed a lawsuit last week against the city of Cleveland and the two officers involved in Rice's shooting, who are on administrative leave.
The officer who shot Rice, Timothy Loehmann, had been on the Cleveland force for less than a year. A second officer, Frank Garmback, was driving the car. Both officers are white. A grand jury investigates all police shootings in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland.
Rice's death and grand jury decisions not to indict other police officers in the deaths of other black men and youth have sparked protests over the use of disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against black people in the United States.