BAD CALL

911 Error Killed Tamir Rice

A slew of errors made by Cleveland’s 911 system and police led to the death of a 12-year-old boy playing with a toy gun. Instead, Tamir Rice was identified as a man in his twenties with a black revolver even though the initial caller reported the gun was “probably fake” and the person was “probably a juvenile.” But cops never received that information from the 911 dispatch, as Michael Daly reported, only a Code 1 alert—the highest of urgency. The officers on the scene arrived so quickly and pulled up so close to Rice in their car that verbal persuasion or other use-of-force policies couldn’t be used. Two seconds later, the police shot and killed Rice. This leaves room for speculation that there was no warning to Rice to raise his hands, as the officers claimed. It took eight minutes for EMTs, located a block away, to arrive. The Justice Department released a scathing report on the dysfunctions within the Cleveland police department, including a pattern of excessive force.