A grand jury has declined to indict two white Cleveland police officers in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old black child. The shooting sparked national outrage at the police's use of lethal force.
The white police officer who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice (pictured), should not be indicted, a grand jury on Monday decided. The child was shot dead while carrying what turned out to be a pellet gun.
Prosecutor Tim McGinty said it was "indisputable" that the boy was drawing the weapon from his waistband when he was gunned down - either to hand it over to police or to show them that it wasn't a real firearm. But McGinty said there was no way for the officers on the scene to know that.
He called it "a perfect storm of human error" but said no crime had been committed.
"Based on the evidence they heard and the law as it applies to police use of deadly force, the grand jury declined to bring criminal charges" against the two officers, McGinty said.
The decision isat odds with a municipal court judge's advisory ruling
There the judge recommended that the officer who pulled the trigger be charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty; while the other officer be charged with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.
Pellet gunTamir Rice was gunned down by patrolman Timothy Loehmann
within two seconds of a police cruiser skidding to a stop near the boy outside a city recreation center in November 2014. Loehmann and his training partner Frank Garmback had responded to a 911 call about a man waving a gun.Tamir was carrying a borrowed airsoft gun
that looked like a real gun but shot non-lethal plastic pellets. It was missing its telltale orange tip.
A video of the shooting captured by a surveillance camera provoked nationwide outrage. Together with other killings of black people by police in places such as Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City,it helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement
The grand jury had been hearing evidence and testimony since mid-October.
Chicago police officers killed two more black people over the weekend, claiming one of these incidents was a tragic mistake.
The Chicago police department is already under federal investigation over whether it uses lethal force too readily. Mayor Rahm Emmanual, who was once President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, has faced several calls to resign.
He is now cutting short his family vacation in Cuba to attend to the latest crisis.
bik/se (AP, AFP)