Cleveland Launches New Police Probe

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and Mayor Frank Jackson
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by David C. Barnett

The decision of a Grand Jury not to prosecute the officers involved in the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice doesn't mean they are in the clear.  The City of Cleveland announced Monday it is immediately launching an investigation as to whether officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback should be punished for violating proper police procedures.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson spoke with reporters alongside Police Chief Calvin Williams to announce the new probe, to be conducted by the Critical Incident Review Committee, made up of police and public citizens. 

Chief Williams said this was the same group that conducted an internal investigation into the actions of officer Michael Brelo, who was part of a 137-round police shootout that left two unarmed suspects dead.

"That committee will look at this incident from start to finish," Williams said.  "That committee will also take a look at any and all information that that's going to be provided to them by either the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's office, the Grand Jury or the County Prosecutor's office."

Williams wouldn't speculate on when the investigation would be completed, and neither he nor Mayor Jackson  commented on the Grand Jury's decision.   But, the mayor emphasized that he was looking to achieve "due process" --- not just "process"...calling public cynicism a major hurdle.

"One of the biggest problems that we're having --- not just in Cleveland, but in this country --- is that people believe you're just "going through the process", and you're checking a box, and you say, 'I've gone through the process, and , by the way, this is the conclusion.'"

Officers Loehmann and Garmback will remain on restricted duty, while this new probe is underway. 

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