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CLEVELAND (AP) — Enough evidence exists to charge two police officers in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy who was holding a pellet gun outside a recreation center, a judge ruled on Thursday.

The judge’s ruling is largely symbolic because he cannot compel prosecutors to charge the officers in the death of Tamir Rice last November. But Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine ruled there’s probable cause to charge rookie officer Timothy Loehmann with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide or dereliction of duty. And he ruled there’s evidence to charge Loehmann’s partner, Frank Garmback, with reckless homicide or dereliction of duty.

“This court reaches its conclusions consistent with the facts in evidence and the standard of proof that applies at this time,” the judge said.

The judge ruled Thursday after a group of activists submitted affidavits asking the court to charge the officers.

Police say Tamir’s pellet gun looked real.

Loehmann fired at Tamir within 2 seconds of pulling up in his cruiser. During those few moments, he ordered the youngster three times to put up his hands, police have said.

The shooting of Tamir, who was black, by a white officer raised questions about how police treat blacks and spurred protests around the city.

The city released a surveillance video showing the shooting of Tamir, who was carrying an airsoft gun that shoots non-lethal plastic pellets.

Much of the footage showed what appeared to be a bored kid alone in a park on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. Tamir was seen pacing, occasionally extending his right arm with what appeared to be a gun in his hand, talking on a cellphone and sitting at a picnic table with his head resting on his arms.

But the gun wasn’t real. It can be bought at sporting goods stores for less than $20. Tamir’s was lacking the bright orange tip that is usually put on such weapons to indicate they’re not real guns.

Tamir’s family said it had seen the video of his shooting.

“It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us,” the family said shortly after the shooting in a statement released by its attorneys. “The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly.”

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9 thoughts on “Judge Finds Cause for Murder Charge Over Police Killing of 12-Year-Old

  1. Ms Curly on said:

    This cop had mental issues and should not have been on active police duty at all. But his father was a retired cop or something and he got the job anyway. So again it’s his word against a dead boy, his partner is not gonna go against him. I don’t believe he said drop your weapon at all. What the hell does this have to do with the blacks in B’more?? Yes there is a lot of work to be done in the black communities all over the US but that does not give the cops the right to go around killing black men and now children.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    Phylicia Barnes’ murder was a tragedy, her boyfriend, Michael Johnson was charged but eventually charges were dropped, no motive nor enough evidence to convict. Her life matters but the case obviously became a cold case, it was not like the investigators didn’t pursue her case. As with many cases, it goes unsolved. That’s not just in Baltimore, that’s everywhere. They may not find out who killed her until 10 years from now. BUT YES her life and the lives of all blacks, whites, and others matter. So does the ones the police kill like in this story’s case. Why does it have to be a “versus” situation? Why can’t they all be issues that need to be resolved?

  3. reflections on said: data shows over 500 citizens kill by police just this year.
    Iowa police officer kills unarmed man who ‘walked with purpose’
    Police still investigating why officer Vanessa Miller shot Ryan Keith Bolinger through the rolled-up window of her patrol car

  4. A young 16 year old girl here in B more with a future who, like Phylicia Barnes, thought hanging out with hoodrats/thugs was a “fun” time was raped murdered and set on fire (Barnes was thrown in a river) and guess what the thugs told police “Her grandmother had a home, job and two cars so we figured valuables was in the home!” But you fools think police are the problem? I moved the h@ out of NE B more (where this child was killed) to get away from Section 8 idiots and now HUD wants to move them into better neighborhoods I WORKED my azzzz off to afford???? RIP all the bodies of black kids piling up because you will never see huge marches or black anger…….Her Dallas TX dad what if this were your daughter????????????????????????? I know I know you need a white police officer involved to care!

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