Expert Who Testified In Brelo Trial Issues Report On Tamir Rice Shooting

By Flickr.com's Jason Rojas.
By Flickr.com's Jason Rojas.
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By ideastream's Brian Bull

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office says the expert it tapped to evaluate the Tamir Rice shooting is someone who will “call it as he sees it,” referring to a report released yesterday.  That expert deemed a Cleveland police officer’s shooting of the 12 year old, “reasonable.”

Prosecutors used the same expert in another controversial case involving a fatal police shooting -- the trial of Cleveland officer Michael Brelo. 

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office called releasing the 13-page report by Florida based expert W. Ken Katsaris part of their transparency effort as the Rice case moves through the grand jury process. 

A spokesman for Prosecutor Timothy McGinty says as with all experts they’ve used in the Rice case, they aren’t looking for preordained conclusions, but are after their best professional opinions.

A Rice family attorney, Subodh Chandra criticized this latest report – the third calling Rice’s shooting “reasonable.”

Katsaris’ document says that Cleveland Police Officers had a “reasonable belief” that Rice was armed – based on a 911 caller’s description of Rice’s actions.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office says Katsaris has a national reputation on use of force issues.  

In a different case earlier this spring, a Cuyahoga County Judge cited testimony from Katsaris in his acquittal of Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo.  Both the judge and Katsaris determined Brelo was justified in using deadly force…. in the 2012 fatal pursuit case referred to as “137 shots” that killed two unarmed suspects.

 

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