Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty announced Monday that a grand jury investigation into the 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice resulted in a decision to not charge policemen Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback in his death. Rice was shot at a Cleveland-area park last November after the officers drove up to him and thought he was wielding a firearm, which they later discovered to be a toy gun.
McGinty indicated that the decision not to charge the officers also came as his recommendation to the court after reviewing all available evidence. “Given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes, and communications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police,” he said. “[It] is now indisputable that Tamir was drawing his gun from his waist.”
McGinty further defended the officers by suggesting those upset with the decision put themselves in the officers’ shoes: “It is likely that Tamir, whose size made him look much older and had been warned his pellet gun might get him into trouble that day, either intended to hand it over or show them it wasn’t a real gun. But there was no way for the officers to know that because they saw the events rapidly unfolding in front of them from a very different perspective. Just minutes before the event, they responded to a ‘code one’ report of a guy pointing a gun of people outside the rec center.”