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Democrat Michael O'Malley — former deputy to Bill Mason and current safety director of Parma — is running against Tim McGinty in the Democratic primary in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's race. Here's his quick thoughts on today's announcement that a grand jury declined to indict the officers who killed Tamir Rice and how McGinty has handled the grand jury.
"I would say this," O'Malley says. "It's a tragic situation for all involved. I think Prosecutor McGinty's handling of the entire affair leaves a lot to be desired. It's a process that took far too long — far too long for the family and for the officers involved.
"Without knowing all the facts like the grand jury and Prosecutor McGinty," he says, "all I can say is that it took far too long and it left a lot to be desired. McGinty can write a book on how not to present a police shooting to a grand jury. His drip by drip public releases put additional pressure on the grand jurors. Much of what we saw over the last few weeks, a lot of it was carefully calculated and politically motivated, I think, with the timing of the releases.
"I think the process by which grand jurors hear cases in Ohio is a process that has been developed through centuries, not weeks or years. And while I think there can be ways to improve the system, and we should look at them, the drip by drip release of information put additional pressures on the grand jurors. They had a very difficult decision and that decision was heightened and maybe prejudiced by the nature and timing of the reports that were released. I think the grand jurors did the best they could.
"Quite frankly," he says, "this could have been wrapped up weeks ago. I think [McGinty] delayed it until after the [Cuyahoga County Democracts'] endorsement meetings."
Those meetings happened earlier this month.
"I feel for the Rice family and it's been a rough road for the officers too," O'Malley says. "The Rice family will never be the same with the loss."