Grand Jury Declines to Indict Officer Who Killed an UNARMED Black 12-year-old
Cuyahoga County (Clevand, Ohio) prosecutor Tim McGinty announced at 2pm EST, that the grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot and killed an unarmed 12-year-old. McGinty stated in the press conference, “The police officer and the police department must live with the awful knowledge that their mistakes led to the death of a 12-year-old boy.”
On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old victim, was playing in a park with a toy gun. Security camera footage captured 26-year-old rookie Cleveland Officer Timothy Loehmann fire fatal shots in less than one second after arriving at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Loehmann’s partner who drove to the rec center, 46-year-old Frank Garmback exited the vehicle three seconds after arrival but Tamir was shot and lying on the ground by the point. Footage did not show Loehmann or Garmback offer medical assistance to the child after shooting him.
During the press conference, McGinty attributed blame to the manufacture of toys, claiming the replica was too realistic to be distinguished from a toy. Many speculate whether statements like this from McGinty demonstrate his inability to zealously prosecute his police colleagues with the best interest of victims at heart. On two separate occasions during the press conference McGinty referenced Cleveland officers who were the target of violent attack, seemingly justifying the impulsive, fatal decision made by Loehmann.
Personnel files show Loehmann was discharged from a previous police department for incompetence. Accoding to Deputy Chief Jim Polak, “[Loehmann] could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal.” Polak also stated he did not believe time or training would “change or correct the deficiencies.” The incompetence of the Cleveland Police Department’s human resources department failed to investigate his previous employment.
Tamir Rice’s family attorney released a statement following the announcement of the non-indictment, which accused prosecutor Tim McGinty of, “abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment.”