A grand jury has declined to charge two Cleveland police officers for their role in the shooting.
A grand jury has declined to indict two Cleveland police officers for their role in the shooting last year of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was holding a pellet gun.
Tim McGinty, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, announced the decision on Monday, saying the two officers who were involved were reasonable in their belief that Rice had a weapon. He called it a “perfect storm of human error.”
“The outcome will not cheer anyone, nor should it,” McGinty said.
Patrolman Timothy Loehmann, a rookie, and Frank Garmback, his training partner, were responding to a call in November 2014 about a man waving a gun near a city park. Loehmann shot and killed Rice within moments of the police cruiser skidding to a halt near Rice, who was holding a pellet gun. The shooting was captured on video and sparked outrage, especially as it came soon after the high-profile police-involved killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.
McGinty called Rice’s death “an absolute tragedy, but it was not, by the law that binds us, a crime.”
He said he’d informed Rice’s mother of the decision before Monday’s public announcement, calling it a “tough conversation.”
In a statement, the Rice family’s attorneys said:
It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment. Even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, Prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers and tell the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified. It is unheard of, and highly improper, for a prosecutor to hire “experts” to try to exonerate the targets of a grand jury investigation.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican who is seeking his party’s presidential nomination, said in a statement:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the Tamir Rice case: pic.twitter.com/u3yK1tB4oJ— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) December 28, 2015
This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.