Judge Backs Charges In Tamir Rice Case After Activists' Push

A Cleveland judge has found probable cause to indict the police officers involved in the death of Tamir Rice.

By Jay Strubberg | June 11, 2015

A Cleveland judge has found probable cause to indict the police officers involved in the death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by police.

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine ruled Thursday two days after a group of community activists filed an affidavit requesting a probable cause verdict over a series of charges.

"We believe that officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback caused the death of Tamir Rice in deeds which were unconscionable, reprehensible and, yes, criminal," an activist leader told the press

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In his ruling, Judge Adrine says there's probable cause to accuse officer Timothy Loehmann with murder, involuntary manslaughter and other charges and says officer Frank Garmback should be indicted on negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.

Community activists say they made a concerted push for criminal charges against the officers because they were losing faith in the grand jury's investigation of Rice's death.

Adrine's ruling is advisory only, so it doesn't mean the officers will face charges. According to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, the case wouldn't move forward until the grand jury weighs in. McGinty released a statement shortly after the judge's ruling.

"This case, as with all other fatal use of deadly force cases involving law enforcement, will go to the Grand Jury. That has been the policy of this office since I was elected," McGinty's statement said.

Rice was fatally shot by Cleveland police last November at a recreation center when officers responded to a 911 call that a boy was playing with what turned out to be a toy gun.

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