Questionable decisions made by the prosecutor in the investigation into the fatal shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice could become reminiscent of the Ferguson Missouri Grand Jury investigation, according to a lawyer for Tamir’s family.
“She’s afraid that what will happen to her is what happened in Ferguson,” Subodh Chandra said. “The prosecutor has sabotaged the Rice family’s attempt to get justice,” Huffington Post reported.
The reports are flawed, according to Chandra, because they were written by a Denver deputy district attorney and a retired FBI agent who are biased to favor officers. Their reports will be presented to a grand jury that will decide whether to indict Loehmann and Frank Garmback, who drove the police cruiser that stopped just feet from Tamir.
The prosecutor has said his office is “not reaching any conclusions” based on the reports and that any decision will be made by the grand jury.
The breaking point came Saturday, when McGinty released reports from outside experts saying Officer Timothy Loehmann acted reasonably when he opened fire on Tamir, who ‘d been playing with a fake gun on a playground.
Past comments about the shooting from the Denver prosecutor and a Department of Justice rejection of the FBI agent’s work investigating a different shooting have raised doubts about their impartiality, said Case Western Reserve University law professor Michael Benza.
The investigation into the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice threatens to unfold like the controversial Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury investigation, a lawyer for Tamir’s family said, because of questionable decisions made by the prosecutor.
A grand jury in Ferguson decided last year not to indict white police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. The actions of prosecutor Robert McCulloch came under scrutiny as he made unusual decisions, such as providing voluminous amounts of evidence to the grand jury even though he only needed to establish there as probable cause to indict Wilson. Chandra worries McGinty might be hindering this investigation by handling evidence differently too.
S. Lamar Sims, a senior deputy prosecutor for the Denver district attorney, appeared on a Denver news program in May, before McGinty commissioned a report from him, and alluded to the shooting.
The mother of Rice, who was killed by a white Cleveland police officer last November, wants Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty to step aside and let a special prosecutor take over, according to the family’s lawyer.