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Two Seconds

That is the surveillance video of the playground in Ohio where police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Someone called 911 to say that Rice had been pointing a pistol at people on the playground. The pistol was an AirSoft pellet gun, a realistic looking replica of a semiautomatic pistol. The orange safety cap had been removed. According to Reuters:

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 he reached for his pellet gun and was shot by an officer, police said. He died on Sunday.

Watch the video. Again, there is no audio, but how on earth can anybody order someone to raise his hands three times in two seconds? That’s how long it took from the time the police car stopped until Rice was lying on the ground, mortally wounded.

What you see is not always what you get, so we need to wait for the investigation. But this looks very, very bad for the Cleveland police. From the look of things on this video, that kid barely had time to react to the sudden appearance of a police car before he was on the ground with one or more bullets inside of him.

Here is surveillance video showing why someone called 911 on Rice. I can well imagine people on that playground being scared to death of a kid pointing a realistic-looking pistol at them. Had Rice not removed the orange safety cap, chances are nobody would have called the police, because they would have known it was a toy:

That said, there is virtually no time at all between the police car stopping and the officer shooting Tamir Rice. It’s hard to see what Rice was doing with his hands when the car stopped; maybe the police feared that he was about to shoot them. Still … two seconds? Really? This looks very, very wrong to me. In fact, this looks outrageous. I don’t blame people one bit for protesting this.

The cop’s last name is Loehmann. A pretty safe bet he’s white.

Lots more here at WKYC in Cleveland.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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