After an internal investigation lasting over a year, the three Cleveland police officers believed to be responsible for the 2014 death of Tamir Rice are facing internal disciplinary charges, the Associated Press reports. If convicted, officers Frank Garmback, William Cunningham, and Timothy Loehmann could lose their jobs.
All three officers—none of whom were prosecuted for Rice’s death—are facing different charges, either stemming from Rice’s shooting or from the failure to disclose important incidents from their pasts. Loehmann, the officer who fatally shot the 12-year-old Rice, is being accused of lying on his police application after failing to include the fact that he suffered an emotional breakdown at a previous job.
Garmback, who was behind the wheel that day, is being accused of driving the squad car far too close to Rice, as well as for failing to report what time the officers arrived on the scene.
Finally, Cunningham, the officer who was working off-duty at the recreation center where Rice was killed, is being accused of working off-duty without permission.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association issued a statement in support of the officers, as it plans to defend what should be a hotly contested matter. "There is no question, and there has never been, that the death of Tamir Rice was tragic," the statement reads. "Nevertheless, all agree that Officer Loehmann was not wrong in reacting the way he did. It appears that the actual charges are created to discipline him, and perhaps discharge him, despite the fact that he did nothing wrong that day."
If the officers are convicted, it might provide a small modicum of solace to the family of Rice and the community at large, all of whom were outraged when a grand jury decided not to indict Loehmann and Garmback in 2015.
Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, told CNN affiliate WJW that she hopes the officers lose their jobs. "They don't need to be police officers terrorizing the city,” she said.
Rice’s family settled a civil suit with the city of Cleveland for $6 million in 2014.