December 2nd, 2015

Are we expected to believe that the Cleveland police—responding to the call that someone with a gun was near the children’s swings—were looking for a gunman to still be there when they arrived?

Responding to the call and driving to the site, Officer Frank Garmback, in a letter (first public statement) says the call said the “gunman” was “on or near the swing set.” A swing-set gunman?

First thing I’d think is that I’m dealing with a kid. He may be on the swing or near the swings. Tamir Rice is a child. Was.

What the officers, who broke silence by giving written statements to a county sheriff’s deputy, expect us to buy further is that driving by empty swings they come upon someone (not showing a gun) in a nearby gazebo.

And they yell to him, presumably thinking this is the “gunman” – “Show me your hands.” Did anyone hear anything?

He looks older than he is, they say. In seconds. He’s only 12 and photos I’ve seen indicate this is a boy, not an adult despite his 5-7 height and 195 weight.

The officers, apparently the city, and the county prosecutor—and if that’s the case, the grand jury too – expect you to believe statements by an officer who shot a couple of seconds upon arrival in a police cruiser poorly guided by another officer. They were dealing with a potential killer.

They expect you not to see or believe the film that reveals exactly what happened. Quick and deadly.

An officer as he gets out of the vehicle starts to fire his weapon almost immediately. Some deem it within two seconds. How more immediate can one get?

The boy – and he was a boy – is walking toward the car.

What that says to me is he’s curious not criminal.

They say he’s reaching for his gun.

He may be. To show them a toy?

But certainly he KNOWS that he has a toy. Not a gun. Not a weapon.

The game now is one of legal obfuscations.

The police at the time of the shoot presumably don’t know they are being taped. They don’t help Tamir at all. Who is to know?

But a tape is going. And we have it.

Silent for a year public pressure is building so someone has advised the two officers that they have to say something that can “explain” the inexpiable.

Grand juries are creatures of the “justice” system. They usually are led by a prominent, or I’d say “safe” citizen. A good, responsible citizen. Won’t make trouble. And a prosecutor.

County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty has already shown his hand by sending the grand jury three “experts” who testify essentially that this is a “good shoot.” Meaning Tamir Rice’s killing is okay.

Loehmann writes, “I saw the weapon in his hands coming out of his waistband and the threat to my partner and myself was real and active.”

Their statements sound ghost written. As federal prosecutors claim a court filing for Michael Gabor was written by fellow scandal convict Anthony Calabreese III, as noted in a Cleveland.com article.

McGinty may be making peace with the cops after indicting Michael Brelo, the officer who went shoot-happy in the 137 bullet car chase that ended with two black unarmed victims killed in a bewildering car chase through city streets. Brelo was acquitted. But the police resent his even being charged.

A trial isn’t fair to police if the shoot is by one of them.

Roldo Bartimole…

(Thanks to Roldo, Scene Magazine takes notice of Have Coffee Will Write—once named Best Local Weblog (that really dates me) by that publication—for the first time in nearly a decade, but relegates HCWW to a local blog status. :) JH)


  1. EJS says:

    I think somebody should drive out to that park, take the same route as those cops and see if it was physically possible to see what Loehmann claims he saw when the kid was sitting under the gazebo. I’m betting that it was physically impossible. Those statements are obviously lawyer produced after many viewings of the video. Can you imagine McGinty letting a 20 year old African-American suspected drug dealer to read a prepared statement to a grand jury and then invoke the 5th to refuse to answer any questions? Even OJ didn’t get to do that.

    • Roldo Bartimole says:

      EJS: You are correct, ordinary citizens would never be able to make a statement and avoid questioning.

      If this stands it will be further proof that this grand jury is suspect.

  2. Mary Jo says:

    And a fine local blog it is, Mr. Hess.

  3. Jeff Hess says:

    Thank you, but what can we expect from a local weekly entertainment tabloid?

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