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

The 12-year-old was playing with a pellet gun when he was shot by police officers

Tamir Rice. Photo: Richardson & Kucharski Co., L.P.A./AP

A judge has found probable cause to charge Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann with murder in last year’s fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

In documents filed Thursday with the Cleveland Municipal Court, Judge Ronald Adrine also found probable cause to support negligent homicide charges against Loehmann’s partner, Officer Frank Garmback.

Rice was playing with a pellet gun in a park on Nov. 22 when a caller to 911 reported that there was “a guy with a pistol.”

Although the caller added that the gun was “probably fake,” that information was never conveyed to Loehmann and Garmback.

According to a video of the incident, Loehmann drove up and shot Rice within two seconds of arriving on the scene. Rice died the next day.

The judge’s ruling is advisory. It is not binding and does not constitute an indictment. Prosecutors must now decide what to do next.

“This case, as with all other fatal use of deadly force cases involving law enforcement officers, will go to the Grand Jury. That has been the policy of this office since I was elected,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty in a statement. “Ultimately, the Grand Jury decides whether police officers are charged or not charged.”

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