Monday, October 12, 2015

Tamir Rice Case Evaluations Raise Questions About Prosecutor's Intentions

Posted By on Mon, Oct 12, 2015 at 8:13 AM

Two expert reports were released to the public Saturday evening, each independently claiming that officer Timothy Loehmann acted "reasonably" when he shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice last November.

In the 11 months since the shooting, County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty has not issued an indictment against Loehmann — nor his partner Frank Garmback. It's unclear why his office released the reports at this time, though his office cited the need for "transparency" and a "demand [for] a higher level of public scrutiny."

Scrutiny, indeed. Since Saturday, McGinty has come under fire in the past few days for commissioning and publishing these reports. 

"It looks as though the prosecutor is trying to taint the grand jury process as well as manipulate the judicial process overall," Edward Little said during a gathering of clergy and activists at Cudell Rec Center yesterday. McGinty's office insisted that it is "not reaching any conclusions from these reports."

(Read the two reports, authored by S. Lamar Sims, senior chief deputy district attorney in the Office of the Denver District Attorney, and Kimberly A. Crawford, a retired supervisory special agent assigned to the Legal Instruction Unit at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, here.)

McGinty, earlier this year, said that he will not be charging anyone on the Cleveland Division of Police payroll: “This case, as with all other fatal use of deadly force cases involving law enforcement officers, will go to the grand jury. That has been the policy of this office since I was elected. Ultimately, the grand jury decides whether police officers are charged or not charged.”

Activists working with Ferguson's Hands Up United wrote: “This is Mike Brown all over again. Just like in the case of Mike Brown, the decision to release these reports ahead of the grand jury findings is morally bankrupt —as they serve to tamper with the court of public opinion, and only further malign a dead 12-year-old who cannot respond because his voice and life were stolen from him."

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