Cleveland Group Tries To Bypass Prosecutor, Charge Police Officers


A group of Cleveland community leaders, clergy and civil rights activists are filing affidavits seeking charges against two police officers involved in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, reports the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The group is invoking a rarely used state law asking a judge to find probable cause to issue arrest warrants for officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback in connection with the Nov. 22 shooting outside a recreation center. The 1960 law allows any person with knowledge of the facts of a case to file sworn affidavits asking a judge to find probable cause to sign off an arrest warrant.

“We are still waiting for the criminal justice system to enact justice in the name of Tamir Rice. It has been more than six months since his tragic death and, yet, the people still have no answers and no one has been held accountable,” said the Rev. Jawanza Colvin of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. “Today, citizens are taking matters into their own hands utilizing the tools of democracy as an instrument of justice.” The case now is in the hands of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, which will present the evidence to a grand jury in a process that could take weeks. By invoking the state law, the group hopes to bypass that process and secure swift arrests on charges that include aggravated murder and manslaughter.

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