Community Leaders Invoke Special Law to Seek Charges in Tamir Rice Case
Community leaders in Cleveland have taken legal action to bring charges against the officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice last November. Rice was playing with a toy gun when police pulled up and fatally shot him within two seconds of their arrival. They failed to provide medical help and tackled Tamir’s sister to the ground as she tried to help him. Investigators submitted their findings in the case last week. But after more than six months, community leaders said Tuesday they are tired of waiting. In a court filing, they invoked a rare Ohio law that allows citizens to ask judges for charges, bypassing police and prosecutors. Church pastor Jawanza Colvin said citizens are seeking justice themselves.
Pastor Jawanza Colvin: “We believe that officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback caused the death of Tamir Rice in deeds which were unconscionable, reprehensible and yes, criminal. So today, as citizens we are taking this matter and the matter of justice into our hands using the tools of democracy as an instrument to ensure that every person regardless of their race, religious, sex, orientation, social class, or profession is ensured that their rights as victims, citizens, and human beings are respected in the courts and throughout society.”
Last month Cleveland agreed to increased racial bias training and tough limits on the use of police force after a federal probe uncovered a pattern of unlawful abuses.