Cuyahoga County

Investigation into the Death of Tamir Rice


 

Click the links below to access the factual and legal summary of the investigation and the full Forensic Video Solutions report

Prosecutor's Final Report
Forensic Video Solutions Report

Statement from County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty on the decision of the Grand Jury in the Tamir Rice case

December 28, 2015


Today, a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury completed its thorough investigation into the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014 at the Cudell Recreation Center. Based on the evidence they heard and on the law as it applies to police use of deadly force, the Grand Jury declined to bring criminal charges against Cleveland Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback.

Read the full text of Prosecutor McGinty's statement HERE.

Media Contact

Joseph Frolik
Director of Communications and Public Policy
216.443.7488
jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us

Back to top



 

Click the link below to access the statements from Officer Loehmann and Officer Garmback

Officer Loehmann Statement
Officer Garmback Statement

Prosecutor's Office releases additional investigative materials in the death of Tamir Rice

December 1, 2015

Cleveland – Investigators from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department have received signed statements from Cleveland Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback as part of their investigation into the fatal shooting 12-year-old Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014.

Those statements have been turned over to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and are being released in keeping with our determination to be as transparent as possible in this and other police use of fatal deadly force cases.

“The investigation is continuing and ultimately the Grand Jury will make its decision based on all the evidence,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty.

Media Contact

Joseph Frolik
Director of Communications and Public Policy
216.443.7488
jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us

Back to top



Click the link below to access the video enhancement

Cudell Recreation Center video enhancement - Grant Fredericks [pdf - 126 MB]

Statement from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty
on the release of video enhancement in the investigation
into the death of Tamir Rice

November 28, 2015

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office today has released a sequenced video enhancement that shows the timeline of events immediately before and after the shooting of Tamir Rice.

The enhancement shows 326 still frames and timeline of events from two different surveillance cameras. It uses metadata from the surveillance video to establish the timeline of events. The enhancement was conducted by Grant Fredericks of Forensic Video Solutions in Spokane, Washington.

This and all other reports will be presented to the Grand Jury for evaluation.

Media Contacts

Joseph Frolik
Director of Communications and Public Policy
216.443.7488
jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us

Reanna Karousis
Communications and Development Officer
216.698.3532
rkarousis@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us 

Back to top



Click the links below to access the expert report and video

Katsaris Report on Use of Deadly Force
*ZIP file of Cudell Recreation Center surveillance video
*Please note: The surveillance video contains two files that must be extracted from a ZIP folder to be played back using proprietary software utilized by the surveillance cameras.

Statement from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty on the release of video and additional report regarding the death of Tamir Rice

November 12, 2015

Cleveland – As prosecutor, it is my sworn duty to uphold the law and seek justice in every case, regardless of popular opinion or public controversy.

When it comes to police use of deadly force cases, I could simply make a ruling as to whether a police officer’s actions were justified by law or violated the law, with no need to explain my decision. Instead, in all fatal use of deadly force cases, I have chosen to use a process by which evidence is carefully investigated by another separate and neutral police agency (in this case, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office). The Grand Jury will then hear from all witnesses and experts, and hear from any additional witnesses they desire or demand.

Ultimately, the people who actually hear the evidence and question the witnesses will make the final decision regarding charges. I have faith in the people of this county to fulfill their sworn duty to make a correct and honorable decision.

This new, more open and transparent protocol is far superior to the former method of having the prosecutor making the decision privately in his or her office for reasons known only to him or her. Releasing police and expert reports allows the public to have knowledge of actual facts, rather than forming opinions based on rumor and innuendo. This is a far more thorough investigation than has ever been done in this county, and there has never before been such an open process.

This method also gives the opportunity to correct errors in process, behavior, hiring and training – or whatever the issues are in a case – promptly rather than waiting for years as a case proceeds through trial. If you wait years, enthusiasm and opportunity for reform are lost. We do not want to squander the opportunity for reform, as it can save lives and improve public confidence.

It is in that spirit of openness that we are today releasing an additional expert report and video evidence gathered during the investigation into the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer on November 22, 2014.

The video was taken by a security camera at Cudell Recreation and shows a different angle than the videotape that was widely shown in the aftermath of the tragedy.

The latest analysis of deadly force issues was authored by W. Ken Katsaris, a veteran law enforcement officer and nationally recognized instructor, who testified for the State of Ohio in the manslaughter trial of Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo.

Once again, as we stated last month, we are not reaching any conclusions from these or other isolated bits of evidence. Individually they are simply pieces of a complex puzzle. The gathering of evidence continues and the Grand Jury will evaluate it all.

Because the investigation continues, it would be premature for me to announce any final decision on charging. I know that is frustrating to many people who are pained and upset by the events of November 22, but I believe careful attention is required in this case.

Finally, let me emphasize that Tamir’s mother has every right to grieve the loss of her child and to demand justice. As a parent, her loss is unimaginable. We have the utmost respect for Ms. Rice and will continue to work with her. My comments were not about Ms. Rice, but instead responded to a civil attorney’s inflammatory attacks on the grand jury process. Any efforts to suggest otherwise are simply not true.

Media Contacts:

Joseph Frolik
Director of Communications and Public Policy
216.443.7488
jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us

Reanna Karousis
Communications and Development Officer
216.698.3532
rkarousis@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us 

Back to top


Click the links below to access the expert reports

Ohio Highway Patrol Report
Sims Report on Use of Deadly Force
Crawford Report on Use of Deadly Force

Statement from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty on the release of three additional reports regarding the death of Tamir Rice

October 10, 2015

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office is releasing three expert reports regarding the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer on November 22, 2014.

Additional analysis has been commissioned and also will be released when completed. As stated when we released the Sheriff’s investigative report in June, transparency is needed for an intelligent discussion of the important issues raised in police use of deadly force cases.

These cases are, by their very nature, different than other matters that come to our office. They demand a higher level of public scrutiny as well as a careful evaluation of the officer’s conduct and whether, under law, those actions were reasonable under the circumstances.

In keeping with our policy in all cases where there has been a fatal use of deadly force by law enforcement officers, all evidence will be presented to the Grand Jury. Members of the Grand Jury also can request additional investigation and ask to hear from additional witnesses.

It is the Grand Jury that ultimately decides, after its investigation is complete, whether criminal charges are warranted.

The first report comes from the Ohio Highway Patrol and is a technical reconstruction of conditions at Cudell Recreation Center last November 22.
The other two reports evaluate the use of deadly force in the death of Tamir Rice. The authors are these reports are:
  • S. Lamar Sims, Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Office of the Denver District Attorney Mitchell R. Morrissey. Mr. Sims is a Harvard Law School graduate and has been a prosecutor in Colorado since 1981. He is a frequent speaker at seminars on proper use of force by law enforcement officers and has handled numerous fatal use of deadly force investigations.
  • Kimberly A. Crawford, a retired Supervisory Special Agent assigned to the Legal Instruction Unit at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, where she taught classes in the use of deadly force. A graduate of Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Ms. Crawford was an FBI agent for more than 20 years and since 2009 has been an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Northern Virginia Community College in Fairfax, Virginia.
We are not reaching any conclusions from these reports. The gathering of evidence continues and the Grand Jury will evaluate it all. We have invited attorneys for the Rice family to offer input and/or evidence, and we continue to invite public dialogue regarding the use of deadly force in this and other cases with the goal of preventing these tragic occurrences.

This approach by our office has ended the protocol of total secrecy that once surrounded the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. When a citizen is purposefully killed by police, the results of the investigation should be as public and transparent as possible. No longer will the public just receive a conclusion from the County Prosecutor. Now the ultimate decision on reasonableness will be made by the citizens of this county through the Grand Jury.

Starting with the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams at Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland almost three years ago, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has shared the facts in these investigations with the public. By doing so, we hope to eliminate speculation as well as to inspire changes in attitudes, hiring and training that will prevent future tragedies.

Unfortunately, the police union has taken a short-sighted position by refusing to cooperate with this investigation and others, making it more challenging to find answers and needlessly delaying the process of justice.

We seek only the facts and the truth. The union operates by a double standard: It rightly asks the general public to have the courage to cooperate with police in serious criminal investigations, yet when the conduct of officers is being investigated, refuses to help.

This attitude goes against the best interests of both individual officers and the public. I would encourage all conscientious police officers to instruct their union leaders to reconsider this ill-advised stance.

Doing so will greatly enhance this community’s efforts to mend the trust between the police and the people they have sworn to protect.

Media Contact:

Joseph Frolik
Director of Communications and Public Policy
216.443.7488
jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us

Back to top



Click the links below to access the Sheriff's investigation

Investigation Part 1
Investigation Part 2
Investigation Part 3
Investigation Part 4
Investigation Part 5
Investigation Part 6

Prosecutor releases Sheriff's investigative report on death of Tamir Rice

June 13, 2015

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office today is releasing results of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department investigation into the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014.

“Transparency (i.e., the actual facts) is essential for an intelligent discussion of the important issues raised by this case,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty. “If we wait years for all litigation to be completed before the citizens are allowed to know what actually happened, we will have squandered our best opportunity to institute needed changes in use of force policy, police training and leadership.

“I believe releasing the BCI Task Force investigation of the November 29, 2012 chase and shooting deaths of Ms. Williams and Mr. Russell provided the public with an accurate, factual basis to discuss the case, the issues and the reforms that have followed.”

Tamir Rice was shot outside the Cudell Recreation Center on Cleveland’s West Side on a Saturday afternoon and died at MetroHealth Medical Center the following day. He was fatally shot by a police officer responding to a 911 call that someone had a gun in the park. That weapon turned out to be an airsoft gun.

At the request of the Cleveland Division of Police, the Sheriff’s Department took over the use of deadly force investigation in January of this year. On June 3, Sheriff Clifford Pinkney delivered his investigative report to Prosecutor McGinty. The Sheriff’s Department was assisted in its work by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

The documents released today have been redacted to exclude personal information, confidential medical records and reports not germane to the events of November 22.

“I want to thank Sheriff Pinkney, his investigators and BCI for being willing to take on the thankless job of investigating the conduct of officers in another law enforcement agency,” said Prosecutor McGinty. “We are now in the process of reviewing this report and deciding what additional investigation is needed. That is the way that every significant investigation works: The Sheriff’s investigation is a good solid foundation that will support the grand jury's own investigation. Tamir’s family, the people of this community and the officers involved deserve nothing less than the most thorough investigation and analysis possible.”

In accord with the policy of the Prosecutor’s Office in fatal use of deadly force cases involving law enforcement officers, evidence from this investigation will be presented to the Grand Jury. Members of the Grand Jury also can ask to hear from additional witnesses, including expert witnesses.

In Cuyahoga County, the Grand Jury ultimately makes the final decision, after its investigation is complete, whether criminal charges are warranted.

“The death of a citizen resulting from the use of deadly force by the police is different from all other cases and deserves a high level of public scrutiny,” Prosecutor McGinty said. “These cases involve peace officers/public employees whose decision to take a fellow citizen’s life must be evaluated to determine, by law, whether the police officer’s action was reasonable under the circumstances and therefore justifiable.”

Media Contact:

Joseph Frolik
Director of Communications and Public Policy
216.443.7488
jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us

Back to top