Eight months after fatal police shooting, Tamir Rice's family and supporters petition for charges against the officers
By Joanna Richards
Relatives of Tamir Rice and their supporters today marked eight months since the 12-year old’s fatal shooting by presenting the Cuyahoga County prosecutor with tens of thousands of signatures demanding the Cleveland police officers involved face charges.
Rice had a realistic-looking toy gun when he was shot outside a west side recreation center in November.
As the plan for Cleveland police reform gets underway through a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department, many people are frustrated with the progress of the Rice shooting investigation.
That frustration was clear as about one hundred activists marched through downtown Cleveland today.
"Indict! Convict! Send those killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell! Indict! Convict!.." the marchers chanted, as they made their way from the Free Stamp at Willard Park to the Justice Center Complex. A police car cleared the road ahead of them, and officers on horseback stood nearby.
At the Justice Center, Tamir Rice’s cousin and grandfather and a few others delivered what they said were 60,000 signatures to County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s office.
"We’re here eight months later and there’s still no justice, so him dragging his feet is an understatement," said LaTonya Goldsby, Rice’s cousin who led the petition effort. "We feel that based on that video, there should have been an immediate indictment for those officers, and some type of arrest warrant should have followed."
McGinty’s spokesman, Joe Frolik, accepted the petition. "This is an ongoing investigation, which obviously we take very seriously, and know it’s important to a lot of people in this community," he said.
McGinty’s policy is to present all police fatal use-of-force cases to a grand jury for review. It could be months before that happens.