From the Times:
The reports released Saturday night — one written by a retired supervisory special agent with the F.B.I., the other by a Colorado prosecutor — examined the shooting’s legality under the United States Constitution, not Ohio law. But each reviewer found that Officer Loehmann had been placed in a volatile situation with minimal information and had acted reasonably in shooting Tamir.
The decision to pull the cruiser so close to Tamir and the dispatcher’s failure to relay some of the caller’s caveats were worthy of further review and were potentially relevant in civil court, but should have no effect on the evaluation of whether Officer Loehmann was criminally culpable for shooting.
I wrote about it here, here, and here: "So this was bad policing. But that doesn't make it a bad shooting." Norm Stamper said pretty much the same thing: "A more mature, experienced, confident police officer would have better understood what he was facing.... [But] if you point a gun at a police officer, you have punched your ticket. I don’t care if it’s a toy gun."
I also said this:
Here's what you don't do: drive right up to that person on muddy slippery ground to put your partner in an unprotected and defenseless position a few feet from the suspect.
The problems here abound. The dispatcher didn't relay information that the caller said the gun was "probably fake." That could have have changed things. By my main problem with the police here is driving right up to an armed suspect. The only reason to do that is to drive into the armed suspect.
Why would you drive in a snowy park to put yourself on slippery turf within feet of an armed suspect?! It makes no sense. You should do everything you can so you do not put yourself in what James Fyfe called a "split-second decision." Because that is when mistakes are made.
So you park your friggin' car half a block away and approach on foot. Why? Because your aim is probably better than his. Why? Because you can suss the situation. Why? Because you can issue commands with distance on your side. Why? Because you might notice that it is a 12-year-old kid. And while that may mean nothing, it increases the chance you notice it's a fake gun. Why? Because you shouldn't be a lazy f*ck, you lazy f*ck!