Tamir Rice was the 12-year-old black boy playing with a toy gun who was shot and killed by Cleveland police last year. Saturday night, ahead of the grand jury being seated to assess whether criminal charges should be brought against Officer Tim Loehmann, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office released two separate reports from outside investigators which assert that Loehmann "acted reasonably in deciding last year to shoot when he confronted the 12-year-old boy carrying what turned out to be a replica gun."
The reports, which were commissioned by the prosecutor’s office, come almost 11 months after the shooting outside a recreation center on Nov. 22, 2014.Oh.
..."There can be no doubt that Rice's death was tragic and, indeed, when one considers his age, heartbreaking," [Colorado prosecutor S. Lamar Sims] wrote. But he added that "Officer Loehmann's belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat."
If you're thinking that the timing of the release of these reports, nearly a year after Rice was killed, as his family waits and waits for something, anything, resembling accountability or justice, before the prosecutor has even brought the case to a grand jury, is pretty goddamn suspect, and sure as hell seems as though the prosecutor is telegraphing to the prospective jury pool there's nothing to indict, you are not alone.
Jonathan S. Abady, a Rice family lawyer, said in a statement that "we now have grave concerns that there will be no criminal prosecution."They sure do.
"Prosecutors exercise substantial influence over the grand jury process and whether an indictment will issue or not," he said.
And I don't see any reason at all for publicly disclosing these reports except to exploit that influence on behalf of a killer cop.