Cleveland police in Ohio have released a CCTV recording of Saturday’s fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy. He is seen pointing a toy gun at a passer-by before police arrive.
The youngster was reportedly told to show his hands three times before police opened fire.
Although a caller had alerted officers saying the gun was probably fake, an audio recording from operator to police makes no mention of a replica gun.
Cleveland’s Deputy Police Chief, Ed Tomba explained the purpose of showing the video:
“This is not an effort to exonerate. It is not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong. This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life.”
Tamir Rice died later in hospital after being shot twice. The video was released with the permission of the boy’s family.
The incident has sparked protests in Cleveland but the Rice family has asked that they remain peaceful – no arrests were made.
As in the Ferguson shooting in Missouri where an unarmed 18-year-old black teenager was shot and killed by police, the incident will be put before a grand jury to asses for possible charges.