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He was just a child playing in the park #justiceforTamir

It's been nearly a year since Cleveland police brutally killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice as he played in the park, and not one officer has been held accountable.1 It's despicable.

Despite more than enough evidence to file criminal charges, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty hasn't even presented the case to a grand jury. In June, a federal judge ruled that Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback should face murder charges for Tamir's killing, yet McGinty has chosen to disregard the ruling.2 Instead, he is going out of his way to defend the police, recently releasing two reports by discredited pro-police "experts" saying that Tamir's killing was "justified."3

We've seen this all before — and won't stand for it. Prosecutors are supposed to fight on behalf of victims, but when the victims are Black and police are the perpetrators, the vast majority of local prosecutors — who work closely with police on the day to day — fail to do their jobs.4 With enough public outrage, we can stop this cover-up in its tracks.

ACT: Join Tamir Rice's mother — Samaria Rice — in demanding a speci...

There are few words to describe the horror of Tamir's killing. In a chilling video, the 12-year-old can be seen standing in the park, as Officers Loehmann and Garmback come speeding up in a police car, stopping just feet from Tamir as he stands in confusion.5 In less than 2 seconds, Officer Loehmann jumps out of the moving vehicle and fires two fatal shots. As Tamir lay dying, neither officer gave him CPR or first aid. When Tamir's 14-year-old sister came running over, Garmback and Loehmann violently tackled her to the ground and arrested her. Following Tamir's death, his family was forced to move to a homeless shelter because living next to the site of his murder was too painful.6

What happened to Tamir and his family is the story of what happens when prosecutors and police fail to hold abusive and discriminatory police accountable. In 2012, Officer Garmback was sued for chocking and beating a Black women, Tamela Eaton, who needed help towing a car out of her driveway.7 The case was settled for $100,000 but the incident was never included on Garmback's personnel file. And even the Cleveland Police Department admits that Officer Loehmann should have never been hired. His previous manager described him as emotionally unstable, "dismal" at handling a gun and unable to "follow simple directions."8 Four other municipal police departments refused to hire him before Cleveland did.

It's time to stop this vicious cycle of impunity. Demand a special ...

Prosecutor McGinty's mistakes in handling this case are indefensible:

  • Nearly one year later, and McGinty is still "investigating" — or rather, stalling. This type of delayed justice is denied justice, and Black families are disproportionately forced to suffer the agony of waiting months for the most basic forms of accountability. McGinty's failures are even more glaring when you compare his conduct with that of prosecutors who do their jobs and hold violent police accountable. Baltimore District Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged the police who killed Freddie Gray in less than 3 weeks after he was killed.9
  • McGinty is acting like a defense attorney for Officers Loehmann and Garmback, instead of as Tamir's advocate. According to the Rice family lawyer, it is unprecedented for a prosecutor to call in "experts" to argue against the core issue of a case before it's even brought to trial.10 And the "experts" McGinty chose are not objective or independent; both have a long history of discredited pro-police bias. It's clear McGinty is using their testimony as political cover to let Tamir's killers off the hook in the coming weeks.
  • McGinty is perpetuating the same systemic racism that took Tamir's life. Due to implicit racial bias, police officers are statistically more likely to shoot a Black person than a white person, including a 12-year-old child playing in the park.11 And last December, the federal government found a systemic pattern of police violence targeting Black residents in Cleveland.12 By failing to hold the police who killed Tamir Rice accountable, as well the officers who have killed other Cleveland residents, such as Tanisha Anderson, McGinty is allowing structural racism to continue unabated.13

Click here if you refuse to remain silent while Prosecutor McGinty ...

Onward,

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