Protesters march during a rally at Public Square in Cleveland following the November 22 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland Police officer. (photo: David Maxwell/EPA)
New Petition Demands Prosecutor Resign Over Tamir Rice Comments
24 November 15
The prosecutor said Rice’s family have “economic motives” for demanding justice for the killing of the 12-year-old Black child.
Organizers handed a petition of over 200,000 signatures to a U.S. prosecutor on Monday demanding he step down over alleged bias in the high-profile case involving two white police officers complicit in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Exactly one year after Tamir Rice was gunned down on a Cleveland playground, family relatives and supporters continue to demand justice for a killing the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office claim was “justified.”
Two reports, one by retired FBI special agent Kimberly Crawford and another by former Colorado Prosecutor S. Lamar Sims, will be presented as evidence to a grand jury on whether to charge the officers. Both were condemned by the family attorney as “biased and meritless” earlier in November.
Raising further fears of bias has been the response of Prosecutor Tim McGinty, who has publicly accused Rice’s family of having “economic motives” behind their struggle to achieve social justice over the killing of Rice. According to McGinty, Rice’s family “waited until they didn’t like the reports they received”
With the petition, the organizers hope to mount pressure on McGinty to step down and are calling for the appointment of an independent prosecutor to take charge of the case.
“The lack of attention to this case from those supposed to be responsible for seeking justice is inexcusable,” said Rian Brown, a local Cleveland community organizer. “Across the country, Black people are murdered by the police—and we refuse to accept that as a reality.”
After a previous petition of over 60,000 signatures was ignored by authorities in July, Black community organizers rallied inside McGinty’s office on Monday to ensure it was delivered and accepted, according to a press release.
Organizers also read out a list of demands including the immediate termination of Officer Loehmann and Officer Garmback from duty, who were both responsible for the killing of Rice. The two white police officers were responding to a 911 caller who had reported that Rice was waving a gun that was “probably fake.” Loehmann shot Rice within seconds of arriving at the scene and neither of the officers administered first aid after the shooting.
He died the following day.
The police killing came two days before a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, a white law enforcement agent responsible for the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
The death of Tamir Rice and Mike Brown and the decision not to prosecute the officers responsible sparked protests and a nationwide debate over systematic racism and police brutality.
“Tamir Rice’s death has inspired a national movement,” said Angela Peoples, co-director of GetEQUAL and one of the organizers of the petition. “The murder of a young Black boy in cold blood cannot, and will not, be ignored.”
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