Unsatisfied with waiting for prosecutors to take action, community leaders in Cleveland will utilize a state law which allows them to seek murder charges for the officers involved in Tamir Rice's death directly from a judge. Rice, 12, was shot and killed by Cleveland police who mistook his toy gun for a real one last fall.
According to the New York Times, the community leaders will cite the rarely-used Ohio law in a request which they reportedly plan to file today:
The community leaders said they intended to file their request on Tuesday morning in municipal court. One of them provided The New York Times with copies of six affidavits they planned to file, which outline the crimes they say were committed.
Ohio is one of a handful of states that allow residents to request an arrest without approval from the police or prosecutors. It is difficult to know how the case will play out because there is little precedent for a citizen to request an arrest in such a contentious, high-profile case.
Although the Times reports that the investigation into Rice's shooting was handed over to Cuyahoga County's prosecutor last week, local leaders in Cleveland doubt that will produce indictments. Much of this has to do with the fact that, as of last month, Officers Timothy Loehmann—the one who shot Rice—and Frank Garmback had yet to be questioned about the shooting.
Rice was killed on Nov. 22.
[via New York Times]
An Ohio judge has recommended that the officers be charged, citing "probable cause" that officer Timothy Loehmann should face charges including murder. According to Reuters, Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine also came to the conclusion that Loehmann's partner Frank Garmback should face charges including "negligent homicide and dereliction of duty charges."
More to come.