According to a Cleveland Police press statement, a 911 dispatcher and a police officer have been suspending following the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014. An internal police investigation revealed that the 911 dispatcher failed to reveal vital information about the case, leading to the child’s death. Rice’s parents declared that the measures taken against the law enforcement officers are too lenient and demands being relieved of duty permanently.
In a recent press conference, the Cleveland City Police Department said that the officers responsible for the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 had been dealt with. Constance Hollinger, the 911 dispatcher who took the call originating from a Cleveland Park has been suspended for eight days. Furthermore, as part of their disciplinary actions, the Cleveland Police also decided to suspend William Cunningham, an off-duty police officer, for two days.
Calvin Williams, Cleveland’s Chief of Police, declared that both law enforcement officer breached protocol when handling the Tamir Rice case. This piece of information was discovered after Williams revealed the Hollinger’s disciplinary letter from the 10th of March.
According to Williams, the reason why 12-year-old Tamir Rice was gunned down in the park was due to the fact that Hollinger failed to relay vital information to the police crew who responded to the 911 call. On that day, a concerned citizen dialed 911 and said seeing a boy carrying an object which resembles a firearm.
However, instead of informing Timothy Loehmann and William Cunningham, the officers who responded to the call, that the gun-toting suspect might be a juvenile and that the weapon might be fake, Hollinger only told them about someone seeing an armed suspect in the street.
After arriving at the Cleveland Park, Loehmann left his vehicle and opened fire on the suspect. Upon reaching his location, Loehmann and his partner discovered that the gun-toting suspect was actually a 12-year-old African-American child who was holding a pellet gun in his hands. The boy was shot once in the abdomen.
Tamir Rice was rushed to the hospital, but, unfortunately, the doctors could not save his life, as he lost a great amount of blood during transport. In response to Chief Williams’ statements, Samaria Rice, the boy’s mother, declared that the disciplinary actions taken against his son’s murderers are far too lenient.
Barring the officers from duty for a couple of days is not enough, Rice said, and that that they must be permanently relieved of functions.
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