Judge Finds Probable Cause for Charges Against Police Officers in Tamir Rice Case
A Cleveland judge has found probable cause for charges against two Cleveland police officers in the shooting of Tamir Rice. In his written opinion today, Judge Ronald Adrine found probable cause to accuse Officer Timothy Loehmann of Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Homicide, Negligent Homicide and Dereliction of Duty.
Loehmann shot the 12 year old within seconds of arriving at Cudell Recreation Center last November. Adrine also found probable cause against Loehmann’s partner Frank Garmback, who drove the car within feet of Rice, for charges including Negligent Homicide and Dereliction of Duty. The judge did not issue arrest warrants for the two officers. He has referred his judgement to the city and county prosecutors.
Earlier this week, a coalition of community members filed affidavits seeking the arrest of the two officers, citing a video of the shooting as evidence. Rice had been seen waving an air-soft style pellet gun at the rec center park near his home.
In Judge Adrine’s opinion, the video is – quote – “notorious and hard to watch. After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly.” But Adrine notes that the court’s role is – quote – ”advisory in nature” and felony charges are left to the discretion of the County prosecutor.