The shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African American boy, occurred on November 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio. Two police officers, 26-year-old Timothy Loehmann and 46-year-old Frank Garmback, responded after receiving a police dispatch call describing a “young black male” brandishing a gun at people in a city park. A caller reported that a juvenile, was pointing “a pistol” at random people in the Cudell Recreation Center, and stated twice that the gun was “probably fake”. The officers reported that upon their arrival, Rice reached towards a gun in his waistband. Loehmann fired two shots within two seconds of arriving on the scene, hitting Rice once in the torso.
Rice’s gun was later found to be… an Airsoft replica, though lacking the orange safety feature signifying that the gun is not real. Rice died on the day after the shooting. His death has been ruled a homicide by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner.
In the aftermath of the shooting, it was reported that Loehmann, in his previous job as a policeman in Independence, Ohio, had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty.
The incident received national and international coverage, in part due to the time of its occurrence, coming shortly after the recent police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York; the police shooting of Akai Gurley in Brooklyn, New York just two days before; the shooting of John Crawford III in Dayton, Ohio; and the subsequent unrest following these incidents had attracted worldwide attention.