Family asks feds to reopen case on Tamir Rice police killing – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-04-16 09:25:31 –

Chicago (AP) — A 12-year-old Tamir Rice family shot dead by Cleveland Police in 2014 asked …

Chicago (AP) — The family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot dead by Cleveland police in 2014, requested the Department of Justice to resume the case on Friday. Trump administration.

In late 2020, federal prosecutors said they would not prosecute the two police officers involved, saying the shooting video was too poor to definitively prove what happened. There were no other charges in this case. In December 2015, a grand jury refused criminal charges against officers.

Rice’s family said in a letter to the Department of Justice that Trump officials were not interested in seeking justice for him for political reasons and believed that the case was unnecessarily complicated. It was.

“The truth is, this case is tragically simple. Tamir Rice was a boy. On November 22, 2014, he was doing what many boys are having fun with. He I was playing with a toy gun in a park near my house, “a family lawyer wrote in a letter.

Rice was black and the policeman who shot him was white. The shooting triggered community protests regarding the treatment of black police, especially after the grand jury decided not to prosecute a police officer or his partner.

Family requests are pressing Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Biden administration to begin publicly offering a commitment to combat racism in police. Garland said the United States “does not have equal justice yet.” However, resuming the case can be complicated.

“President Biden’s election, your appointment, the rule of law, racial justice, and our commitment to police reform hope that Tamir’s family will never lose accountability,” the family wrote. Said in.

Rice was playing with a pellet gun outside the Cleveland Recreation Center on November 22, 2014. At that time, a few seconds after Lehman and his partner Frank Garmback arrived, he was shot dead by Timothy Lehman. Police officers were sent to a recreation center after a man drank beer and waited for a bus named 911 to report that the “man” was pointing a gun at people. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that it was probably a boy and the gun could be a “fake”, but that information was not passed on to the police.

To file a federal civil rights accusation in such cases, the Department of Justice must prove that the actions of police officers intentionally violated the law and were not merely the result of negligence, negligence, or misjudgment. There is. Meeting federal prosecutors in both Democratic and Republican administrations has been a consistently tough burden, and the Department of Justice has criminalized police officers in other notable cases, including Eric Garner’s suffocation in New York City. I refused the accusation. Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

In the case of Rice, the Justice Department decisively determines whether poor quality surveillance videos recorded in the area where the shooting took place are prosecutors reaching for toy guns just before Rice is shot. He said he couldn’t. Two police officers investigated told authorities shortly after the shooting that Rice had reached for the gun before it was shot and was given multiple orders to show his hand.

But while the video is gritty, it shows what the prosecutor needs to know, Zoe Salzmann, a lawyer at Emery Cheri Brinkahoff Abadi Ward & Marzel, who works with Rice’s family. Said.

“It’s very clear about the most important points,” she said. Timing, one. This indicates that Lehmann was ready to shoot within a second or two of encountering Rice and did not pause for investigation. She said the officers’ allegations they ordered Rice proved to be untrue and that the prosecutor included them as facts.

However, a letter from a Rice lawyer said the Justice Department’s explanation was designed to make the case look “as complex as possible” in order to run out of time for certain federal crimes. The letter calls for a federal prosecutor to convene a grand jury to consider prosecuting police officers.

Salzmann said the family wants Cleveland to reconsider the prosecution, but feels that the best chance is for the federal government.

“What the Rice family wants here is an opportunity for justice,” she said. “Politics is better than justice over and over again. All they wanted was an honest investigation and a fair presentation of evidence to the grand jury.”

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