Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot and killed by a police officer, released a statement after a grand jury didn’t indict two officers involved in the case.
Rice was shot to death by officer Tim Loehmann on the playground after he and another officer, Frank Garmback, saw him with a toy gun.
An Ohio grand jury found that Loehmann and Garmback will not face criminal charges.
Prosecutor Tim McGinty said Monday said the incident was a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and communications by all involved that day,” reported CNN.
As a result, there was no criminal conduct carried out by police, he added.
Loehmann, who was in training, shot Rice in November 2014, while Garmback was training him.
“It is likely that Tamir, whose size made him look much older and who had been warned his pellet gun might get him into trouble that day, either intended to hand it over to the officers or show them it wasn’t a real gun,” McGinty explained. “But there was no way for the officers to know that, because they saw the events rapidly unfolding in front of them from a very different perspective.”
In light of the circumstances, he said that it was “reasonable” to believe that Tamir was a threat, adding that the toy looked like a real gun.
Rice’s mother issued a statement on the lack of charges, according to remarks on Twitter:
“My family and I are in pain and devastated by the non-indictment of officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback for the murder of our beloved Tamir. After this investigation—which took over a year to unfold—and Prosecutor McGinty’s mishandling of this case, we no longer trust the local criminal-justice system, which we view as corrupt.
Prosecutor McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for my son, and acting instead like the police officers’ defense attorney. In a time in which a non-indictment who have killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice. In our view, this process demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system.
I don’t want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him, and for all families who must live with the pain that we live with.
As the video shows, Officer Loehmann shot my son in less than a second. All I wanted was someone to be held accountable. But this entire process was a charade.
I pray and hope that the federal government will investigate this case.”
Meanwhile, the Chandra Law Firm, which is representing Rice’s family, also released a statement, according to Fox8:
“Today, more than a year after Cleveland police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a grand jury voted not to indict the shooter. Tamir’s family is saddened and disappointed by this outcome–but not surprised.
It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand-jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment. Even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, Prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers and tell the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified. It is unheard of, and highly improper, for a prosecutor to hire “experts” to try to exonerate the targets of a grand-jury investigation. These are the sort of “experts” we would expect the officer’s criminal-defense attorney to hire—not the prosecutor.
Then, Prosecutor McGinty allowed the police officers to take the oath and read prepared statements to the grand jury without answering any questions on cross-examination. Even though it is black-letter law that taking the stand waives the Fifth Amendment right to be silent, the prosecutor did not seek a court order compelling the officers to answer questions or holding the officers in contempt if they continued to refuse. This special treatment would never be given to non-police suspects.
The way Prosecutor McGinty has mishandled the grand-jury process has compounded the grief of this family.
The Rice family is grateful for all the community support they have received and urges people who want to express their disappointment with how Prosecutor McGinty has handled this process to do so peacefully and democratically. We renew our request that the Department of Justice step in to conduct a real investigation into this tragic shooting of a 12-year-old child.”