Judge Rules That White Policemen Can Be Charged in Death of Black Child

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A judge has ruled that there is enough evidence to charge two white police officers for the November, 2014, fatal shooting of a 12-year-old black boy in Cleveland (OH).

Film from a surveillance camera shows Tamar Rice being shot by rookie Police Officer Timothy Loehmann within two seconds of the police cruiser skidding to a stop near Rice. The cruiser was driven by Frank Garmback. Cleveland police have said that Loehmann told Rice three times to put his hands up, then opened fire when Rice reached for a gun tucked in his waistband. Although it looked real, the gun turned out to be a pellet gun. However, investigators have found no hard evidence that Rice was ordered to raise his hands before police opened fire. It is not clear whether Loehmann shouted anything from inside the cruiser before shooting.

In response to affidavits submitted by a group of activists asking the Municipal Court to charge the officers, Judge Ronald  Adrine has ruled there is probable cause to charge Loehmann with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide or dereliction of duty in the shooting death of  Rice. The judge also said sufficient evidence exists to charge Garmback with reckless homicide or dereliction of duty.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff Department has completed its investigation of the incident and given its file to the county prosecutor whose staff is reviewing the case. County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said the case would be submitted to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges should be filed.

 

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