Household calls on federal authorities to reopen police homicide of Tamir Rice

CHICAGO (AP) – The household of Rice Tamir 12 years old, who was shot useless by Cleveland police in 2014, on Friday requested the Justice Division to reopen the case till his loss of life after it was closed within the last weeks of the Trump administration.

Finish of 2020, federal prosecutors said they would not lay charges in opposition to the 2 law enforcement officials concerned, claiming that the video of the capturing was of too poor high quality for them to have the ability to conclusively set up what had occurred. There have been no additional prosecutions on this case. In December 2015, a grand jury refused to deliver felony prices in opposition to the police.

Rice’s household stated in a letter to the Justice Division that they believed Trump officers weren’t fascinated about in search of justice for him on political grounds and have been unnecessarily complicating the case.

“The reality is, this case is tragically easy. Tamir Rice was a boy. On November 22, 2014, he was doing one thing that many boys take pleasure in: enjoying with a toy gun in a park close to his residence, ”the household’s attorneys wrote within the letter.

Rice was black and the policeman who shot her was white. The capturing began community protests on the police therapy of blacks, particularly after a grand jury determined to not indict the officer or his associate.

“I’m nonetheless in a lot ache as a result of nobody has been held accountable for the felony act that claimed his life,” Rice’s mom Samaria Rice stated in an announcement. “I ask the DOJ to reopen the investigation into my son’s case; we want an indictment and conviction for Tamir’s loss of life.

Household demand places strain on Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Biden administration to start publicly honoring its dedication to sort out racial discrimination in policing. Garland stated America “doesn’t but have equality of justice.” However reopening the case could possibly be difficult.

“The election of President Biden, your appointment and your dedication to the rule of regulation, racial justice and police reform give Tamir’s household hope that the chance to be held to account is ‘is just not misplaced perpetually,’ the household stated within the letter.

The Justice Division declined to remark.

Rice was enjoying with a pellet gun outdoors a recreation middle in Cleveland on November 22, 2014, when he was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann seconds after Loehmann and his associate, Officer Frank Garmback arrived. Officers had been dispatched to the recreation middle after a person drank beer and waited for a bus to name 911 to report {that a} “man” was pointing a gun at folks. The appellant informed a 911 dispatcher that it was seemingly a minor and that the gun might have been “pretend”, though this info was by no means given to officers.

To put federal civil rights prices in circumstances like these, the Justice Division should show that an officer’s actions willfully violated the regulation and weren’t merely the results of error, negligence or poor judgment. It has at all times been a troublesome burden for federal prosecutors to assemble in Democratic and Republican administrations, with the Justice Division having denied felony prices in opposition to law enforcement officials in different high-profile circumstances lately, together with within the loss of life of Eric Garner in New York and Michael brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

In Rice’s case, the Justice Division stated shoddy surveillance footage recorded within the space the place the capturing occurred prevented prosecutors from with the ability to conclusively decide whether or not or not Rice grabbed her pistol. toy simply earlier than being shot. The 2 officers who have been investigated informed authorities shortly after the capturing that Rice was grabbing the gun earlier than being shot and had acquired a number of orders to indicate her arms.

However the video, whereas grainy, reveals what prosecutors must know, stated Zoe Salzman, a lawyer at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel, who works with Rice’s household.

“It is very clear on a very powerful factors,” she stated. Timing, for one. This reveals that Loehmann was able to shoot a second or two after assembly Rice, and he did not cease to research. She stated the officers’ claims they gave Rice have been false and prosecutors took them as reality.

However the letter from attorneys for the Rice household stated the Justice Division’s clarification was designed to make the case as “difficult as doable,” in an try to run out of time on some federal prices. The letter requests that federal prosecutors convene a grand jury to overview the costs in opposition to the police.

Salzman stated the household hoped Cleveland would rethink the costs as effectively, however imagine their finest likelihood is with the federal authorities.

“All of the Rice household is asking for here’s a likelihood for justice,” she stated. “Many times, politics trump justice. All they requested for was an trustworthy investigation and a good presentation of the proof to a grand jury.”

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