WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced Tuesday that there would be no charges against two Cleveland police officers in the 2014 killing of 12 Cleveland police officers, one-year-old Tamir Rice said the video of the shooting was from too poor quality for the public prosecutor to finally determine what happened

To wrap up the case, the department ended a long-standing investigation into a high profile shootout that contributed to the Black Lives Matter movement and became part of the national dialogue on the use of police force against minorities, including children In a lengthy statement revealed, does not condone the actions of the officials, stating that the accumulated evidence was insufficient to support a federal prosecution of civil rights

Tamir was playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center in Cleveland on November 22, 2014 when he was shot and killed by white officer Timothy Loehmann seconds after Loehmann and his partner, Officer Frank Garmback, arrived at the crime scene officers were taken to the recreation center called after a man who was drinking beer and waiting for a bus called 911 to report that a “guy” was pointing a gun at people. The caller told a 911 dispatcher that it was probably a teenager and the weapon may have been “fake”, although this information was never passed on to the officers

In order to prosecute federal civil rights in such cases, the Department of Justice must demonstrate that an official’s actions were willful in violation of the law and were not simply the result of error, negligence, or bad judgment it was for a consistently difficult burden for prosecutors to meet in both Democratic and Republican governments The Justice Department has declined criminal charges against police officers in other high-profile cases in recent years, including the deaths of Eric Garner in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

In a statement, Subodh Chandra, an attorney for the boy’s family, said the “Justice Department process was tainted” and the family had asked prosecutors to provide additional information on recommendations during the investigation

“It is incomprehensible that the department could not tell that an officer who claims he was shouting orders when the police car window was closed and it was a winter day was lying,” Chandra said. “The Rice family became Cheated out of a fair trial again ”

In that case, the Justice Department said that poor quality surveillance video taped in the area where the shooting took place prevented prosecutors from making a definitive determination, just prior to the shot, whether or not Rice reached for his toy gun The two officers under investigation informed authorities shortly after the shooting that Rice reached for the gun before the shot and received several orders to show his hands

The prosecution-reviewed video makes the sequence of events less clear, however. The grainy time-lapse video, which has no audio, “shows no detail or perspective” and the camera’s view is obstructed by a police patrol car, prosecutors also said they said, although the boy’s arm positioning suggests they were near his waist, “His hands are not visible in the video, and it cannot be seen from the video what he was doing”

According to the Justice Department, seven violence experts – three from the family, four from local authorities – examined the case, but the poor quality of the video they relied on and their “conflicting opinions did little to help.” The experts appointed by the family said the shooting was unreasonable, while the other four said it was reasonable

The New York Times reported in October that the division effectively closed the investigation, but Tuesday’s announcement makes it official

Inconsistent testimony also made any prosecution difficult. Neither of the two witnesses who saw any portion of the encounter or heard gunfire said they saw exactly what Rice did just before the shooting, according to the Justice Department

In a local statement to three other police officers, Loehmann stated “repeatedly and consistently” that Tamir reached for a weapon before shooting him, the prosecutors said

Both Loehmann and Garmback said in post-shooting statements that Loehmann gave Tamir “several orders to show his hands before shooting,” and both officers saw him reaching for the gun, prosecutors said Loehmann and Garmback are the only two witnesses close to the shooting “

A state grand jury had refused to prosecute Loehmann, although he was later fired after it was found that he had previously been classified as “unfit for service” “

The Justice Department also investigated whether officers interfered with the judiciary in statements they made to other investigators shortly after the shooting, prosecutors concluded that although the statements were in a different language, they were generally consistent, and Since there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the statements weren’t true, neither was there enough evidence to prove that the officers were trying to mislead investigators or obstruct an investigation into their actions

Tamir Rice

World News – USA – Feds reject charges against officials in Tamir Rice case

Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/feds-decline-charges-officers-tamir-rice-case-74957060