The city of Cleveland is attempting to give the investigation of the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice to an outside agency. The Associated Press is reporting Cleveland’s safety director and former police police chief Michael McGrath has been speaking with Cuyahoga County officials from the sheriff’s office to take over the inquiry into Rice’s death at the hands of a police officer, as well as all cases using deadly force. This latest development comes after Cleveland being scrutinized by the U.S. Justice Department for handling other cases using deadly force. The department ripped the Cleveland police for officers continuously using deadly excessive force and stated, it was too often and in some instances not warranted.
The city’s spokesman Dan Ball told the Northeast Ohio Media Group,
We would like a different, outside agency to handle all deadly use of force cases.
On Nov. 22, Rice was gunned down by rookie police officer Timothy Loehmann, while at a Cleveland playground. Police officers responded to a 911 call that a boy was pointing a gun at people, but the caller repeatedly told the dispatcher the gun was probably fake, and was being done so by a child. Within minutes, the police arrive on the scene where Loehmann claims he told Rice to put his hands down but he didn’t, resulting in Rice’s death.
Surveillance video however, contradicts Loehmann’s account of the story. In the footage it shows once Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback pulled up to the park and exited their patrol car, seconds later Rice was shot dead by Loehmann. Loehmann along with Garmback are currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. Rice’s family filed suit against both officers along with the city for failing to train Loehmann and Garmback, and for them behaving recklessly, negligent and unreasonable when confronting Rice.