Rice Family Attorneys Ask Justice Department To Take Over Case

A memorial stands near the spot where Tamir Rice was fatally shot by a police officer.
A memorial stands near the spot where Tamir Rice was fatally shot by a police officer. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
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by Nick Castele

Attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice are asking the U.S. Justice Department to take over the investigation into the fatal shooting of the 12-year-old by a Cleveland police officer. 

In a newly released letter, Rice family attorneys wrote that experts solicited by the family faced biased and unprofessional questioning by prosecutors before the grand jury. The attorneys wrote that prosecutors have abused the grand jury process and biased the proceedings against returning an indictment.

“At this point, on this record, it is clear that a grave miscarriage of justice is underway and that federal intervention is called for,” the letter reads.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for northern Ohio says the office will review the family’s request.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty responded in a written statement, accusing Rice family attorneys of trying to “inflame” the public with inaccuracies. 

McGinty said witnesses before the grand jury are treated with respect, but “should expect thorough questioning from prosecutors and the grand jurors themselves.”

He said he would welcome a review, but won’t step aside.

“Absent a true conflict, I must and will do my duty as prosecutor,” McGinty wrote, “even when it is difficult, challenging, or controversial.”

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