Cleveland, Ohio – In the months since police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice for playing with a toy gun in a park, the Cleveland Police Department has insisted that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the officer. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, thus far the police department has indicated that they believe that the 12-year-old boy was responsible for his own murder because he was playing with a toy gun in public.
The Rice family fears that this case could end up like that of Eric Garner and the number of other police murders where officers were not indicted after killing someone on video. To avoid this, the family of Tamir Rice will be attempting to bypass the grand jury system and ask for direct charges to be brought against Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann.
Grand juries very rarely indict police officers for murdering innocent people, and many people are suspicious that prosecutors are complicit in allowing cops to walk free when they are guilty of crimes.
“The writing is on the wall, if you look at every other instance, it ends up unfavorable to the families,” Walter Madison, a lawyer for the Rice family said in a statement.
Ohio is one the few states that allow residents to directly ask judges to press charges against specific individuals without an arrest taking place. In the past people have attempted to press charge against officers using this process, but it has failed every time. However, community leaders and lawyers for the family are confident that this is the strongest case to be brought against a police officer using this process.
This week, lawyers for the Rice family will be filing six affidavits charging officer Loehmann with a number of different crimes.
The most disturbing details of the case include the fact that Timothy Loehmann fired the fatal shots just seconds after exiting the police vehicle, showing absolutely no hesitation when shooting. Also, the officers waited minutes before calling an ambulance and failed to provide the boy with any medical care, effectively striking down any second chance that he had at life.
Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice spoke out at a press conference last year about the shooting. She said that not only was her 12-year-old son shot by officer Timothy Loehmann, but her 14-year-old daughter was immediately detained, handcuffed and thrown in the back of a police car for crying about her brother being shot.
A quick look into the history of officer Timothy Loehmann shows that he has a short and troubled past with police work. In fact, Loemann was actually terminated from his last job as a police officer because they did not think that he was mentally capable, or mature enough for the job. He was let go by the City of Independence Police Department in December of 2012, and then was quickly rehired with the Cleveland Police Department in March of last year.
During the course of the investigation, the Rice family was forced to pay $75 per day to keep Tamir’s body refrigerated in the event that additional medical examinations needed to be done. As we reported last month, the boy’s surviving mother has recently moved into a homeless shelter because she can’t continue to live right in front of the place where the police killed her child. However, in light of this new information, it would seem that the tens of thousands of dollars the family was forced to pay could be largely responsible for her current state of homelessness.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.