Cleveland police officials on Wednesday released a video of the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old boy, which shows the boy holding a pellet gun at a park before police arrive.
Tamir E. Rice was shot by a patrol officer on Saturday after a 911 call reported someone pointing a gun at people at the Cudell Recreation Center.
The video shows the boy walking back and forth in the snowy park, pointing the gun in different directions, before entering a gazebo.
A patrol car pulls up to the gazebo and two officers jump out and draw weapons. The view of the boy is obscured by the patrol car.
There is no audio on the video, but police said they told Rice to raise his hands three times before Rice reached for his pellet gun and was shot by an officer. Rice died on Sunday.
Cleveland police said the two officers involved, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, are on leave as a result of the shooting.
Local media reported that Loehmann shot Rice, but this could not immediately be confirmed. A union representative said the officer who shot Rice was on the force for less than a year.
Rice had an Airsoft-type replica gun that resembles a semiautomatic pistol, but typically shoots plastic pellets, police said. An orange tab that would have indicated it was not a firearm had been removed, authorities said.
A statement from Rice's family described him as “a bright young man who had his whole life ahead of him."
“Though the hurt our family feels is too painful for words to describe, we still have faith in the justice system,” the statement said.
The video release follows a second night of protests over a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a white Ferguson police officer for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager.
Both Rice and Brown were African American.
About 300 people protested the Rice shooting on Tuesday, tying up rush-hour traffic, but the demonstration was peaceful and there were no arrests. The Rice family has asked that protests stay peaceful.
The Rice shooting will be sent to the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury for possible charges, in accordance with a 2013 policy on law enforcement’s use of deadly force, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said on Tuesday during a community meeting that he plans to begin outfitting patrol officers with cameras by January and that the officer who shot Rice was “very distraught."
“No officer wants to do that,” Williams said, but added: “Officers do have the right to respond with deadly force.”
An Ohio grand jury in September decided not to press charges against two police officers who fatally shot a man holding a pellet gun at a Dayton-area Walmart.
Al Jazeera and Reuters