Judge Finds Probable Cause to Charge Officers in Tamir Rice’s Death

Tamir Rice

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine ruled Thursday that  probable cause existed to charge two police officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, but also said he did not have the power to order arrests without a complaint being filed by a prosecutor.

Judge Adrine found probable cause to charge Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shot, with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and dereliction of duty. As for Loehmann’s partner, Officer Frank Garmback, the judge found probable cause to charge him with negligent homicide and dereliction for duty.

The City of Cleveland released a statement shortly after Adrine’s findings were made public.

It reads:

Today Judge Ronald Adrine issued a judgement entry finding probable cause to charge Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback with various criminal offenses. At the city’s request, the County Sheriff conducted and completed an investigation of the facts surrounding the shooting of Tamir Rice and submitted his findings to the County Prosecutor.

The City Prosecutor has referred Judge Adrine’s entry to the County Prosecutor for review and to determine whether charges will be issued.

Tamir, an African American boy, was shot and killed last Nov. 22. Surveillance video released by police shortly after shows rookie officer Loehmann firing at the boy within two seconds of a patrol car stopping within a few feet of him at a park.

The video shows Tamir holding what police later discovered was an airsoft gun, which shoots nonlethal plastic projectiles. He died the next day.

Attorneys for Tamir Rice’s family released this statement to the media:

The family of Tamir Rice is appreciative of their attorneys, Walter Madison, Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks along with the efforts of the “Cleveland 8” who exercised civility and intellect by invoking Ohio Citizen Participation laws Tuesday to effectuate arrests of the officers responsible for the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

The “Cleveland 8” has provided a blueprint for the nation to follow in addressing many of the relationship problems between African-Americans and Law Enforcement. Judge Ronald Adrine heard the pleas of the Cleveland 8, took into consideration the affidavits provided and determined there was probable cause to issue a warrant for Officers Loehmann and Garmback.

We are grateful that the wheels of justice are starting to turn.

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