CLEVELAND — The officer-in-training who shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was carrying a pellet gun, will not face criminal charges, a Cleveland grand jury decided on Monday.
Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback responded to a 911 call from a man near the recreation center where Rice was playing alone with a replica airsoft gun.
Surveillance footage shows Rice pointing the gun at a passerby. In a recording of the emergency call, the caller can be heard telling the dispatcher he is not sure if the gun is real or not, but the officers were not given this information before arriving at the scene.
Loehmann shot Rice within seconds after his police car skidded to a stop in the snow just in front of Rice. He fired twice, but one bullet missed, and the other hit Rice, who died in the hospital the next day.
An enhanced version of the video of the moment Rice was shot shows that he reached under his shirt for the pistol when the police arrived.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty has been criticized by the victim's family for his handling of the case, including calling an expert witness to evaluate the video who sided with the officer's use of force.
The two officers were also allowed to submit written statements in the case instead of testifying.
During a press conference yesterday explaining why the prosecution recommended not pressing charges, Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Matthew Meyer said it was "extremely difficult" to differentiate between the pellet gun replica and the firearm it was modeled after.
In a non-binding review of the case, a Cleveland judge found probable cause for murder,
involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty charges against Loehmann, CNN reported.
Now that the criminal investigation is completed, an administrative review of the shooting will be conducted, and a federal review of the case is ongoing.