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Home USA Tamir Rice shooting: justice department investigation ends without charges | Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice shooting: justice department investigation ends without charges | Tamir Rice


The US justice department has closed its civil rights investigation into the fatal 2014 shooting by #Cleveland police of #Tamir #Rice, a 12-year-old #Black youth, and said that no federal criminal charges would be brought in the case.

The announcement came five years after an #Ohio grand jury cleared two #Cleveland officers, #Timothy #Loehmann and #Frank #Garmback, of state charges of wrongdoing in the death of #Rice, who was shot in a playground while holding a toy gun capable of shooting pellets.

The slaying occurred when #Loehmann fired his gun twice at the youth within seconds, killing him. #Both men are white.

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The incident was one of several high-profile killings of #African-American people at the hands of US law enforcement in recent years that have fueled protests giving rise to the #Black #Lives #Matter movement against racial injustice.

The two officers in the #Rice case had been dispatched in response to a 911-emergency call reporting a suspect with a gun near a recreation center.

#But crucial information the caller gave dispatchers – namely that the person in question was a juvenile and that the supposed weapon might be a toy – was never relayed to #Loehmann and his partner before they reached the scene.

#As a result, “the officers believed they were responding to a playground where a grown man was brandishing a real gun at individuals, presumably children,” the justice department’s civil rights division said in its six-page statement.

#Moreover, security camera video of the #November 2014 episode was found to be too grainy and taken from too great a distance to conclusively detail circumstances of the shooting, the statement said.

#In closing the case without bringing charges, the department said it lacked sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either officer had wilfully broken the law, as opposed to making a mistake or exercising poor judgment.

“Although #Tamir #Rice’s death is tragic … both the #Civil #Rights #Division and the US attorney’s office concluded that this matter is not a prosecutable violation of the federal statutes,” the department said.

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#Although no criminal charges have been brought, the city agreed to pay $6m to the boy’s family to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed in his death in #April 2016.

#Cuyahoga #County prosecutors who previously investigated the killing have said #Rice had either intended to hand over the toy weapon he was carrying – an #Airsoft replica of a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun – or show officers it was not real, but that the two policemen had no way of knowing that.

The #Airsoft normally comes with an orange tip on its barrel to distinguish it from an actual firearm, but the one #Rice was holding at the time did not, prosecutors said.

The family’s attorney, #Subodh #Chandra, said #Tamir’s mother is profoundly upset by #Tuesday’s decision.

“Justice for the family would be to prosecute the officers who killed their child,” #Chandra said.



[ source link ]
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/30/tamir-rice-shooting-justice-department-investigation-ends-without-charges

##Tamir ##Rice #shooting #justice #department #investigation #ends #charges ##Tamir ##Rice

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