EXPOSED! The Prosecutor’s “Expert Reports”

A Blatant Attempt to Whitewash the Police Murder of Tamir Rice

Reposted December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Update 12/29/15: On December 28, 2015, the IN-justice system announced NO charges against the police who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland on November 22, 2014. The prosecutor led a Grand Jury to come to that decision in part through procuring reports from utterly un-credible “expert witnesses” who were neither experts, nor objective in their approach. The following article was originally posted at on November 9, 2015, exposes how these biased reports were being used to prepare the Grand Jury, and public opinion, to not bring charges against the police who killed Tamir.


Here are the uncontested facts:

Tamir RiceTamir Rice was a 12-year-old playing in a park who was gunned down by police in Cleveland, Ohio on November 22, 2014.
  • On November 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun, by himself, in an empty park near his home. Someone called in a 911 report on seeing Tamir in the park, stating that he was probably a juvenile and the gun was probably a toy.
  • Acting on this report, two Cleveland cops, Officers Loehmann and Garmback, drove their squad car to a few feet away from Tamir, who at that point had the toy in his waistband. Within 1.7 seconds of their arrival, before the car had even come to a full stop, Loehmann jumped from the car and shot Tamir twice; the shots were fatal.
  • As Tamir lay bleeding on the sidewalk, the cops failed to administer first aid or even comfort. When Tamir’s sister ran towards him to help, the cops tackled and handcuffed her and put her in their squad car, just a few feet away from where her brother lay dying.

Immediately the police put out the typical story when cops kills someone—of Tamir supposedly threatening them with what they believed was a gun, refusing their repeated requests to put it down until finally they had “no choice” but to shoot him. But then it turned out there was video footage of the killing that exposed the police story as total lies.

This came at the height of protests across the U.S. against police getting away with murder of Black and Brown people. The footage from the video was so damning that it seemed that no one could deny that at least this was a clear case of police murdering an unarmed, unthreatening, and defenseless child—that this time, the system would just have to indict, try, and convict the cops for cold-blooded murder. Even the judge who reviewed the video (and ruled in June that there was “probable cause” to charge the police with homicide) said: “The video in question is notorious and hard to watch. After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly.”

But flash forward to today, almost one year since the shooting—there have been NO CHARGES OR INDICTMENTS brought against either of these murderers. And in a clear indication of intent to completely whitewash this crime, in early October the Cuyahoga County prosecutor released two “expert reports” to the media, both of which claimed that the police killing of Tamir Rice was “reasonable,” and denounced criticism of the killing as “Monday-morning quarterbacking,” strongly implying that there should be no criticism of police killings, ever.

The mainstream media treated these reports as the considered opinions of neutral experts who had carefully and honestly examined the facts—the message was that “perhaps this shooting too was ‘more complicated’ than people thought.” As such, these reports, and the media coverage of them, are clearly setting the stage for the grand jury hearing this case to return no indictments.

Rice Family’s Attorneys Expose the Experts and Their Reports

Now three attorneys working for the Rice family have written a scathing letter to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor that carefully and cuttingly reveals that these prosecution “experts” are not neutral and not expert, and that their reports blatantly ignore the facts in an extremely convoluted effort to get around what millions of people saw happen with their own eyes. (A PDF of the lawyers’ letter is available online.)

Here are some of the key things that the attorneys’ letter brings out (all quotes that follow are from the attorneys’ letter):

These “experts” are in reality neither “neutral” nor “expert:”

One of them, Lamar Sims, was hired by the prosecutor to do a supposedly objective investigation “two months after he gave a television interview on Denver public access television... in which he [Sims] expressed pro-police opinions about the shooting of a young child playing with a toy gun, a clear reference to the shooting of Tamir Rice. Sims also participated in an event centered on the police’s use of force in March 2015 hosted by your office, where he expressed pro-police sentiments.” [Emphasis added]

The other “expert,” Kimberly Crawford, was hired “even though she has been discredited as an expert in this field after the U.S. Department of Justice rejected her opinion in the high profile 1992 fatal Ruby Ridge shootings on the grounds that her legal analysis was flawed, distorted the applicable case law, and improperly quoted cases selectively in an effort to exonerate the police in their use of deadly force.” [Emphasis added]

In other words, the prosecutor’s office went looking for, and hired, investigators that it already knew would issue reports exonerating the cops.

It is virtually unprecedented for a prosecutor to introduce pro-defense “expert reports:”

At this stage of the judicial process, the prosecutor has the job of presenting the argument for bringing criminal indictments, based on the known facts of the case. (As noted before, a judge has already ruled that there is probable cause for charges to be brought.) Once charges are brought, defense attorneys can bring in experts at the trial who will back up the defense theory. But in this case, the prosecutor is playing the role of the defense attorney for the cops who murdered Tamir, hiring experts to justify not bringing the case to trial at all.

The reports rely on “evidence” that has already been proven false by the video:

Sims goes so far as to say that the statement Loehmann allegedly made to the FBI agent that he gave commands to Tamir before shooting is of ‘particular import’—even though that statement is plainly hearsay and demonstrably false, as the video makes it clear that there was no time for Loehmann to issue any commands.” The Rice family attorneys go on to note that Crawford “repeatedly claims that the video shows Tamir ‘reaches toward his right side waist and lifts his jacket,’ even though Sims acknowledges that ‘the video is grainy and it is unclear—from the video—whether Rice reaches for his gun.’” (We would add that no honest person watching the video can “see” Tamir reaching for the toy gun.)

The reports disregard the fact that the cops were caught plainly lying and cannot be considered as credible witnesses:

“The reports fail to explore the credibility issues surrounding police claims that the officers warned Tamir three times immediately before shooting, when the 1.7-second time frame makes it apparent that did not happen. The ‘experts’ made no attempt to trace back those demonstrably false claims to the officers themselves—the natural source—which would undercut the officers’ credibility.”

The reports make a big deal of saying the officers didn’t know that Tamir was a child and the gun was a toy—while ignoring the fact that they killed Tamir before they could possibly have determined the circumstances:

“...given the undisputed fact ... that Loehmann shot Tamir within 1.7 seconds of arriving at the scene, no reasonable officer would have had time to make any assessment at all about Tamir’s age or toy (which he was not even holding when Loehmann shot him). ... according to these so-called ‘experts,’ it is reasonable for police officers to drive into a park ... and immediately open fire on any African American boy they encounter there.”


There is much more in the attorneys’ letter, including examples of blatantly ignoring established case law about when police shootings are legally justified, and we encourage our readers to read the entire document. But there is more than enough even in the excerpts cited here to show these so-called “expert reports” for what they really are: part of a cold-blooded move by the authorities to exonerate the blatant, vicious, and completely UN-reasonable murder of Tamir Rice—and in doing so, to justify and unleash further levels of police terror and murder.



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