The police officer who shot and killed 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland last year will face no charges in the death, a grand jury has decided. Rice was shot when he was seen brandishing a toy gun on a playground.
As the New York Times reports:
Timothy J. McGinty, the county prosecutor, who made the announcement at a news conference, said that while “this was a perfect storm of human error,” the evidence considered by a grand jury over two months “did not constitute criminal action by police.” He noted that the law gives the benefit of the doubt to a police officer “who must make a split second decision.”
Mr. McGinty said it was “indisputable” that Tamir was drawing the weapon from his waistband when he was shot — either to hand it over to the officers or to show them that it was not a real firearm. But Mr. McGinty said there was no way for the officers to know that as they pulled up.
Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback were responding to a 911 call that relayed that Rice was a juvenile, and that the gun was probably fake. Within seconds of their arrival on the scene, however, Loehmann had shot the boy.
“He gave me no choice. He reached for the gun and there was nothing I could do,” Loehmann told a fellow officer after the incident.