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United States: Video raises doubts over police killing of boy of 12

INVESTIGATORS have questioned a police officer’s claim to have warned a black 12-year-old boy three times before shooting him dead.

Cleveland officer Timothy Loehmann said that he ordered Tamir Rice three times to raise his hands, but that the boy reached for an apparent pistol in his waistband, which turned out to be an airsoft replica.

But surveillance video footage shows Mr Loehmann firing two shots within two seconds of his police car skidding to a stop near the boy.

Cuyahoga County detectives investigating the incident wrote that, based on witness interviews, it was unclear whether Mr Loehmann had shouted anything to Tamir from inside the car before opening fire.

A friend told deputies he had given the pellet gun to Tamir hours before the shooting with the warning to be careful because it looked real, according to the documents.

Prosecutor Tim McGinty said he had decided to release the investigative file now in the interests of transparency and facilitating changes to police procedures.

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