The policeman who shot and killed a 12-year-old waving a pellet gun has said he thought the gun was real.
Timothy Loehmann told investigators he and his partner repeatedly shouted “show me your hands” before fatally shooting Tamir Rice in Cleveland.
His statement was released to a grand jury as it decides whether the two officers, both white, will be charged.
The issue of excessive force by police against African Americans has become a source of protests and national debate.
Rice was carrying a non-lethal pellet gun when Cleveland police approached him in November 2014, in response to a 911 call reporting a man waving and pointing a gun at people.
The caller said the gun may not be real and the perpetrator could be a juvenile. This information was not passed onto the officers.