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Home Breaking News Federal probe ends without charging Cleveland police in Tamir Rice shooting

Federal probe ends without charging Cleveland police in Tamir Rice shooting


WASHINGTON (#Reuters) – The U.S. #Justice #Department said on #Tuesday it has closed its civil rights investigation into the fatal 2014 shooting by #Cleveland police of #Tamir #Rice, a 12-year-old #Black youth, and that no federal criminal charges would be brought in the case.

FILE PHOTO: #Senior #Ruby #Wilson holds a sign saying that #Tamir #Rice, killed by #Cleveland #Police in 2014, would have been a 2020 graduate as #Nathan #Hale #High #School seniors join with others to protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in #Minneapolis police custody of #George #Floyd on their graduation day in #Seattle, #Washington, U.S. #June 15, 2020. REUTERS/Lindsey #Wasson

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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, then a rookie on the #Cleveland force, rolled up to the park in a police cruiser with #Garmback at the wheel, then sprung from the vehicle and fired his gun twice at the youth within seconds, killing the boy.

#Both men are white.

The incident was one of a flurry of high-profile killings of #African-American people at the hands of U.S. 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.

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#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 willfully 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 U.S. #Attorney’s #Office concluded that this matter is not a prosecutable violation of the federal statutes,” the department said.

#Although no criminal charges have been brought, the city agreed to pay $6 million 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.

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

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

#Reporting by #Eric #Beech in #Washington and #Rich #McKay in #Atlanta; #Editing by #Steve #Gorman, #Tim #Ahmann, #Dan #Grebler and #Michael #Perry



[ source link ]
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ohio-police-shooting-idUSKBN29323A

##Federal #probe #ends #charging ##Cleveland #police ##Tamir ##Rice #shooting

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