Samaria Rice’s Counsel’s Statement Regarding the Release of Officer Statements

  • December 1, 2015

Allowing defendant police officers to submit unsworn statements in response to grand jury subpoenas that call for their live testimony is again a stunning irregularity further tainting these proceedings. No regular target of a criminal investigation would be afforded this opportunity.

The officers’ statements in no way establish that their conduct in shooting Tamir Rice was reasonable or justified. Submitting self-serving, unsworn written statements to the grand jury, rather than appearing live so that their version of events could be subject to cross-examination and questioning by the grand jurors, suggests the officers know their story would not withstand real scrutiny. In fact, their statements are inconsistent with each other, are flatly contradicted by the objective video footage and common sense. Officer Loehmann, for example, is suggesting that he observed things and took action that would have been physically impossible for any human being to do in the less than two seconds it took him to shoot this 12-year-old boy. While Loehmann claims to have issued at least three commands in less than two seconds, Garmback admits the windows to the police vehicle were up, demonstrating his partner’s claims are false. Hopefully, the grand jury will see through this.