No charges in fatal 2014 police shooting of Tamir Rice

Cleveland, Ohio - No federal criminal charges will be filed against two police officers from Cleveland in the fatal shooting of a Black boy, Tamir Rice, in 2014, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The killing of Tamir Rice, along with other police shootings of Black men, sparked protests nationwide.
The killing of Tamir Rice, along with other police shootings of Black men, sparked protests nationwide.  © imago images / ZUMA Wire

The Justice Department announced that the investigation is being closed.

Although Tamir Rice’s death was tragic, the evidence in the case was not sufficient to prosecute the officers in question, the statement added.

Officers were called to a playground in Cleveland on November 22, 2014, on a report that a boy there was wielding a gun, which the caller said was probably a toy.

Video of the shooting showed that one of the officers fired on 12-year-old Tamir Rice less than three seconds after arriving at the playground.

It was discovered later that the gun Rice held was a toy. The officers were not informed that the caller said it might be a toy.

The Cleveland Police Department fired Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot Rice, in 2017 after a thorough review of the fatal shooting.

A grand jury in Ohio had earlier declined to indict either Loehmann or Frank Garmback, the officer who drove the police car to the scene.

The Justice Department explained that its own review did not throw up enough evidence:

"Career federal prosecutors with 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 statement concluded.

The Tamir Rice case occurred amidst a series of other controversial police-involved shootings of Black men across the country, which sparked dozens of protests nationwide.

Cover photo: imago images / ZUMA Wire

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