The Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 will not face state criminal charges, according to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office.
Via NY Times:
The decision by grand jurors was the end of a lengthy investigation that was criticized by Tamir’s family and by activists, who called the shooting senseless and said the officer should have been charged with murder months ago.
Tamir, who was black, was carrying a replica gun outside a recreation center when someone called 911. The caller cautioned that Tamir was probably a juvenile and that the weapon was “probably fake,” but that information was not relayed to the two officers who responded, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback.
Timothy J. McGinty, the county prosecutor, who made the announcement at a news conference, said that while “this was a perfect storm of human error,” the evidence considered by a grand jury over two months “did not constitute criminal action by police.” He noted that the law gives the benefit of the doubt to police officer “who must make a split second decision.”
Mr. McGinty said it was “indisputable” that Tamir was drawing the weapon from his waistband when he was shot — either to hand it over to police or to show them that it was not a real firearm. But Mr. McGinty said was no way for the officers to know that as they pulled up.
He said the he “appreciated the sincere emotion and concern of all citizens” but asked the communituy to “respect the process.”
Surveillance video, which has been widely circulated online, showed Officer Garmback pulling the police cruiser within a few feet of Tamir, and Officer Loehmann stepping out of the car and almost immediately firing his gun. Tamir died hours later. His partner, Officer Garmback, was also not indicted.