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Cleveland on Wednesday will release surveillance video showing the police shooting of a 12-year-old boy who was killed after allegedly reaching for what turned out to be a pellet gun, authorities announced at a community meeting Tuesday.
The family of Tamir Rice, who was shot by police Saturday and died Sunday, had earlier demanded that the video be released. Police initially refused, calling the recording evidence in an investigation. But officials at Tuesday night’s meeting reversed course and announced they will release the footage at 1 p.m., NBC station WKYC reported.
Tamir Rice was shot in the torso at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland at 3:30 p.m. Saturday after police said he allegedly refused to raise his hands and reached for what looked like a handgun tucked in his waistband, and he died the next day. The item turned out to be a pellet gun that police said had its orange safety indicator removed and looked like a real firearm. Police say the boy never pointed the gun at the officers or threatened to shoot them. The two police officers involved have been placed on paid leave and an investigation is underway.
Earlier Tuesday, Tamir Rice’s parents, Samaria Rice and Leonard Warner, asked that the video be released, saying in a statement that as they grieve privately, "we feel the actions of the patrol officer who took our son’s life must be made public." Surveillance video captured shooting, and Deputy Police Chief Edward Tomba told reporters Monday that the video was "very clear" about what happened.
The boy’s parents say that while the family is "devastated," they also want calm. "Though the hurt our family feels is too painful for words to describe, we still have faith in the justice system," the parents said. "We thank the community for their prayers, encouragement and support. It has helped us during this difficult time."
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