In a decision that was grimly inevitable, a grand jury has declined to indict the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a park in November of last year, and his partner, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced in a press conference this afternoon.
McGinty told the press that he recommended to the jury that the cops not be indicted, and they followed his lead:
Prosecutor Timothy McGinty confirms: he recommended to grand jurors that the police officers should not be charged for Tamir Rice's death— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) December 28, 2015
The city has worked overtime to wash its hands of Rice’s death in the 13 months since it happened. It almost certainly leaked Rice’s father’s arrest history just days after the boy was killed, and in response to a wrongful death suit argued that Rice was responsible for his own death. Though a coroner ruled his death to be a homicide and a local judge found probable cause to charge the responding cops, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office commissioned several reports that unsurprisingly found Rice’s killing to be “reasonable.” Two reports commissioned by Rice’s attorneys disagreed with those findings. In his press conference today, McGinty says that Rice should not have been playing with a toy gun because he “looked older.”
Prosecutor McGinty says Rice should have known better before playing in the park, because he "looked older"— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) December 28, 2015
Video of the incident shows officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Carmback driving their car into a Cleveland park just feet from where Rice is standing. Two seconds later, Loehmann fired at Rice, striking and killing him. Loehmann testified that he demanded Rice show his hands three times in those two seconds. Rice’s hands were empty, and he was left to die on the ground as Loehmann and Carmback went to tackle and subdue his sister.