Expert Reports: Fatal Shooting Of Tamir Rice Deemed 'Reasonable'
Two expert reports requested by prosecutors say a Cleveland police officer’s actions were reasonable when he fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice. But local prosecutors say they’re not reaching conclusions yet.
The expert reports released Saturday night come from a former FBI agent and a Colorado prosecutor. They say the officer’s decision to shoot was reasonable given the circumstances and perception of a threat.
However, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says his office is still gathering evidence and a grand jury will have the final say on whether any officers should face charges. An attorney for the Rice family says prosecutors are avoiding holding police accountable, and says a jury could find the officer’s actions unreasonable.
Tamir Rice had been playing with an air gun at a Cleveland park in November 2014, when someone called 9-1-1. Police arrived, and drove up next to Tamir. An officer emerged from the passenger side and shot the 12-year-old within seconds. He died the next day.
The Cuyahoga County sheriff’s office handled the investigation, and turned the case over to prosecutors this summer.
In June, a Cleveland Municipal Court judge ruled there was probable cause to charge the officers. He wrote that decision after activists brought the case to his courtroom by petition, a move allowable under Ohio law.
But at the time, prosecutors said the decision to indict remained up to a grand jury.