Department of Justice Quietly Abandoned Investigation of Tamir Rice Killing

The probe is said to have been quietly brought to an end in August 2019. The DOJ, however, has not formally informed the family or the public.


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The Department of Justice quietly brought its investigation into the death of Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed at 12 years old in 2014 by a white cop, to an end last year.

The department, according to a New York Times report from Charlie Savage and Katie Benner, shut down a civil rights investigation into the killing of Rice by letting a request circa 2017 from career prosecutors for a grand jury to gather investigatory evidence "languish for two years" before ultimately saying no in August 2019. This, of course, effectively ended the inquiry despite the department still not having taken the usual steps to formally close the case more than a year later.

Those steps would typically include a memo explaining the decision to not indict, as well as informing the Rice family and the general public about a lack of charges against the cop. 

Back in December of 2015, the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ said that it would continue their "independent review" of the Rice case. Furthermore, the DOJ said at the time that its goal was to continue efforts in the pursuit of ongoing and comprehensive reform.

Subodh Chandra, who’s now representing the Rice family, has argued that this latest update on the investigation shows an intentional act of stalling so that the statue of limitations on Timothy Loehmann would expire.

"It was devastating to learn that this supposedly 'law-and-order' administration defied the judgment of career prosecutors, slow-rolled the investigation to let the statute of limitations run out, hid from the crime victim's family its decision not to prosecute, and let the officers get away with murder and obstruction of justice," Chandra, an ex-federal prosecutor, said.

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While Loehmann was ultimately fired from the Cleveland Police Department, he has not been charged with any crime in connection with killing 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

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