Tamir Rice Grand Jury: No Indictment for Cleveland Cops

AP Photo/Tony Dejak
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

After a long and controversial investigation, grand jurors in Cuyahoga County chose not to indict the Cleveland police officers who were involved in last year’s fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old with a toy gun.

Rice was shot outside a recreation center after Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback were dispatched following a 911 call. The call said the gun was “probably fake,” but that information was not relayed to Loehmann and Garmback.

The Rice case is a key one for the Black Lives Matter movement, who use the case as proof of police brutality against black Americans.

A full video showing the shooting has been on YouTube since January, 2015. In late November, prosecutors released a new analysis of the video of the shootings.

Rice’s family and attorneys have been battling publicly with prosecutor Timothy McGinty, a Democrat, for months, and that public warfare increased recently.

As the New York Times reported:

In a series of blistering letters, Ms. Rice’s lawyers have accused Mr. McGinty of prosecutorial misconduct and demanded that he step aside. Mr. McGinty has refused. And he has even appeared to publicly accuse Ms. Rice and her lawyers, who are pursuing civil claims against the city, of seeking to profit from her child’s death.

“They’re very interesting people” who “have their own economic motives,” Mr. McGinty said last month. He later backtracked, saying he was not speaking about Ms. Rice. But he condemned her legal team’s “inflammatory attacks on the grand jury process.”

The response to the decision on social media was immediate. Black Lives Matter activists Shaun King and Deray McKesson voiced their opinions on social media.




Minor Hollywood celebrities also shared opinions on the grand jury decision via Twitter:

As an example of the racial animosity that’s been stirred up since President Obama took office, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer website Cleveland.com website has taken the unusual step of turning off all comments on stories about Tamir Rice, saying that they had become “a magnet for haters” and “overrun by wickedness. “

The trouble was that we couldn’t keep up. Just about every piece we published about Tamir immediately became a cesspool of hateful, inflammatory or hostile comments. Rather than discuss the facts of the case, many commenters debased the conversation with racist invective. Or they made absurd statements about the clothing and appearance of people involved in the story. Or they attacked each other for having contrasting viewpoints. In many cases, well over half of the comments on Tamir stories broke our rules and had to be deleted.

We ultimately decided that the comments sections of Tamir stories, overrun as they were by wickedness, were not contributing to the needed conversation. In early October, we reluctantly and finally decided to close down the comments on any news story about Tamir.

The Rice decision will almost certainly be the basis for more protests by Black Lives Matter. Cleveland will be the host city for the 2015 Republican National Convention, which Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has already promised to “shut down.”


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