CLEVELAND - A Cleveland Municipal Court judge ruled on Thursday that there is probable cause to file charges against the Cleveland Police officers in connection with Tamir Rice’s death.
Judge Ronald B. Adrine stated in his judgement entry there is probable cause to bring charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty against Officer Timothy Loehmann, who shot the 12-year-old boy.
Adrine also wrote there is probable cause to bring charges of negligent homicide and dereliction of duty against Officer Frank Garmback, who was driving the patrol car.
While Adrine stated there is probable cause to bring charges against the officers, he said his role is “advisory in nature” and it is ultimately up to the “discretion of the City’s prosecuting authority” to file charges.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty released a statement following the judgement entry Thursday:
This case, as with all other fatal use of deadly force cases involving law enforcement officers, will go to the Grand Jury. That has been the policy of this office since I was elected. Ultimately, the Grand Jury decides whether police officers are charged or not charged.
Tamir's family also released a statement:
Today A Cleveland Municipal Court judge has found probable cause that Police officer Timothy Loehmann should face murder and other charges in the slaying of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
We understand that Judge Ronald B. Adrine released his opinion this Thursday afternoon, we also understand-that the judge did not find probable cause that either officer should be charged with aggravated murder. Early reports state that Judge Adrine also determined that there was not probable cause to charge Garmback with murder.
I(we) have remained strong only with the knowledge that my son's innocence has given me the strength in the darkest times of this ordeal," and throughout this ordeal, I'm appreciative of the invaluable support from family, friends and strangers and their kindness has sustained me. but, I must say- “Again-We (Family/Advocates) stand firm in our efforts to bring justice to Tamir-while we understand that the charges are pending-what we want is a conviction," with that in mind we stand firm in our efforts to move forward in our fight, said Samaria Rice (Tamir's Mother)
We believe that many people from across the nation stand with us and in our call "Justice for Tamir Rice" and we would hope that everyone available will support in the day's ahead.
We demand an end to police killings and institutional racism and declare that "Tamir's life matters."
Tamir was shot and killed on November 22, 2014 at the Cudell Recreation Center after a man called 911 to report a child playing with a gun.
During the call, the man said he could not tell if the gun was real or not, but said, “It’s probably fake.”
Police said it appears Tamir had an Airsoft gun, with the orange tip removed, tucked in his pants.
According to police, when the officers approached the 12-year-old, he reached for the toy gun.
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It is then when Cleveland Police say Loehmann shot and killed him.
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