Sheriff’s Department Wraps Up Investigation Into Tamir Rice Killing

By Kenrya Rankin Jun 04, 2015

Update, June 5, 2015 at 1:21 p.m. ET:

Cleveland’s ABC5 has reported that according to a source familiar with the Tamir Rice case, a Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department investigation has found that there is no evidence that Officer Timothy Loehmann committed a crime when he fatally shot the 12-year-old within two seconds after encountering him in a Cleveland rec center complex. The sheriff’s department, the station has noted, does not decide whether criminal charges will be filed; it only presents "evidence and facts" to the county prosecutor who will choose whether or not to pursue the case. Police fatally shot Rice, who playing by himself with with a pellet gun at Cudell Recreation Center on November 22, 2015. The sheriff’s department submitted the results of its investigation on Wednesday, more than six months after Rice died.


Investigators with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department gave the county prosecutor their findings regarding the death of Tamir Rice, the black 12-year-old who was fatally shot by Timothy Loehmann, a white Clevland police officer, last November 22. 

The findings have not been released to the public and the sheriff’s special assistant, Philip Angelo, told The New York Times yesterday: “One hundred percent, unequivocally, we do not recommend, advise, offer guidance to the prosecutor’s office when it comes to charges in this case.”

The sheriff’s office took over the investigation on January 2, a month after the Department of Justice concluded that the Cleveland Division of Police has exhibited a “pattern or practice of unreasonable and unnecessary use of force” which has “eroded public confidence in the police.” The DOJ’s investigation was launched in March 2013, before Rice’s death.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty’s office is expected to use the collected evidence during grand jury proceedings, which have not yet been scheduled. Last month, Rice’s family pushed back against the months-long investigation via a court filing: “The Sheriff’s investigation is apparently going to continue indefinitely [as] it has been five months and there is no end in sight.”

Marcia L. Fudge, who represents Cleveland in the House of Representatives, encouraged McGinty to convene the grand jury soon. “I urge Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty to act with a sense of urgency and review this tragic shooting immediately,” Fudge said in a statement. “The citizens of Cleveland deserve swift action. The investigation into the shooting of Tamir Rice has taken too long. Our goal is justice. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Justice too long delayed is justice denied.’ We want justice now.”