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Sheriff: Majority Of Work Finished In Tamir Rice Investigation

Nick Castele

The Cuyahoga County sheriff says the majority of the work is now done in the investigation into the shooting of Tamir Rice. The 12-year-old was fatally shot by Cleveland police last November. This was the sheriff's first update on the case.

Sheriff Clifford Pinkney kept his remarks brief and took no questions from reporters. He walked through a basic outline of the case and said it was nearing completion.

Tamir Rice had been holding an air gun at Cudell Park in Cleveland in November, when someone called 9-1-1. Tamir was shot by a responding Cleveland police officer within seconds of arriving on the scene.

At the request of Mayor Frank Jackson, the sheriff’s office took over the investigation from Cleveland police in January.

Sheriff Pinkney said he received the full investigative file from the prosecutor’s office in mid-February, and has been reviewing evidence.

“My investigators have pored over thousands of pages of documents and conducted numerous search warrants and interviews with witnesses,” Pinkney told reporters. “We have also reviewed any and all surveillance from surrounding area and conducted a 3D measurement scan at the Cudell rec center.”

At a rally last week, Tamir Rice’s family and their attorneys asked why there have been no results yet after five months. One attorney said the investigation was “slower than molasses in the wintertime.”

And activists at the sheriff’s press conference today posed the same question, calling out to him as he left the room.

Pinkney didn’t answer them, but in his remarks said he wouldn’t violate the integrity of the investigation by setting an arbitrary deadline. Nor, he said, would he drag the case out unreasonably.

When the sheriff’s office is finished, Prosecutor Timothy McGinty will take up the case. McGinty has said he’ll present evidence to a grand jury to determine if any officers should face charges for the shooting.