Justice Department Declines Charges Against Police in Tamir Rice’s Killing

The magnificent Martin Luther King Jr. professed that “Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied” a sentiment that is tragically fitting once again as the U.S. Department of Justice has rejected filing charges against the officers responsible for killing 12 year old Tamir Rice on the playground in 2014. Tamir Rice was a grade school student who was having recess outside of a recreation center in Ohio when a Cleveland police officer, Timothy Loehman mistook a toy gun for a real one and decided to shoot him.

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Ohio and prosecutors with the Civil Rights Division concluded that “In order to establish a federal civil rights violation, the government would have to prove that Officer Loehman’s actions were unreasonable under the circumstances, and that his actions were willful.” They also stated that “an officer is permitted to use deadly force where he reasonably believes that the suspect posed an imminent threat or serious physical harm.”

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year old boy who was fatally shot by police while carrying a replica toy gun, speaks during a news conference at the Olivet Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio December 8, 2014. Source: REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

The DOJ released a statement on Tuesday which attempted to validate their reasoning saying “Although Tamir Rice’s death is tragic, the evidence does not meet” the “substantial evidentiary requirements.” As if murdering a child in cold blood isn’t enough to warrant reprimand.

The Attorney for the child’s family Jonathan Abady told CNN that she is overwhelmed with grief saying “this case involves the totally unjustified shooting of a 12 year old child. This is part of a problem that we’ve been living with as a society for as long as anyone can remember, that is the unjustified excessive use of force by police officers against people of color.”


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