Cuyahoga County Sheriff Asks Ohio Attorney General to Assist in Tamir Rice Investigation

Attorney General Mike DeWine speaks at a Nov. 2014 press conference as Cuyahoga County Sheriff Frank Bova looks on.
Attorney General Mike DeWine speaks at a Nov. 2014 press conference as Cuyahoga County Sheriff Frank Bova looks on.
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DEWINE: “The decision whether the Attorney General’s office and BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) will become involved in an investigation is not our decision. That is something that the local police department, or the local sheriff’s department or the local prosecuting attorney decides. We cannot step into these investigations without a request from a local police agency. Usually those requests come about for one of several reasons. Either the local police department thinks there is a conflict with them investigating the case or they want us to do a highly specialized part of the investigation. So every single day in Ohio we are assisting local law enforcement at their request. Many times it's to cover a crime scene, sometimes it's to test evidence. But that's what we do. That is why BCI exists and that’s one of the main functions of the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

INGLES: “Recently Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said he didn’t trust your office to take over the investigation of the Tamir Rice shooting. Were you asked to take over that in the first place, or did you go in?”

DEWINE: “Well, first of all, I like the mayor a lot. I think he’s a good person. He was not happy with our investigation of the high speed chase several years ago. I stated at the time that, based on our very lengthy and exhaustive investigation of that, that there was a systemic failure in the Cleveland police department command and control. And the mayor disagrees with that. So I think that’s why he has said what he said. Interestingly, even before the mayor said that, the Cleveland police department had reached out to us to do some specialized testing, forensic work that we did at our state crime lab. Also, several days ago, I received a letter from the sheriff’s department, who is taking the lead in this investigation, that they wanted some additional assistance from our office and we're more than happy to supply that help.”

DeWine said his agency cannot, by law, intervene in local cases unless the local police agencies request his help.

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