Cleveland Judge Finds Probable Cause to Charge Officers with Murder of Tamir Rice
AP Photo/Northeast Ohio Media Group, Cory Schaffer

In an administrative order filed earlier today, a Cleveland judge stated that there is probable cause to charge officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback in the November death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Rice was killed last year while playing with a toy gun at a Cleveland public park. Police received reports that a boy was waving around a gun that was “probably” fake. Seconds after Loehmann and Garmback arrived at the scene, surveillance video shows Loehmann exiting the police car and firing his gun, striking Rice, who died the following day at an area hospital.

In his order, Judge Ronald Adrine wrote that Loehmann should be charged with murder, reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter while Garmback should be charged with negligent homicide. However, despite his recommendation, it is up to the county prosecutor to seek charges.

“After viewing [the video] several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly,” Adrine wrote in his review, pointing out that Rice was left without medical attention for upwards of four minutes.

The judge’s order comes just days after a coalition of Cleveland civil rights activists took advantage of a city law allowing residents to file paperwork requesting that a judge sign an arrest warrant for a suspect. The activists point out that Rice was killed more than six months ago, and although the city’s investigation is complete, no arrests have been made. They called for the arrest of both officers involved.

County prosecutor Timothy McGinty will turn the case over to a grand jury, which will then determine whether the officers will be indicted. He hasn’t issued a statement on when that will take place.