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Tamir Rice case: DOJ declines charges against Cleveland officers in fatal shooting of 12-year-old

 


A state grand jury had declined to indict Loehmann, though he was later fired after it was discovered he was previously deemed "unfit for duty."



The New York Times reported in October that the department had effectively shut down the investigation, but Tuesday's announcement makes it official.
Inconsistent witness statements also complicated any prosecution, and neither person said they saw exactly what Rice was doing just before the shooting, according to the Justice Department.

In a statement at the scene to three other law enforcement officers, Loehmann "repeatedly and consistently stated" that Tamir was reaching for a gun before he shot him, prosecutors said.

Both Loehmann and Garmback also said in statements after the shooting that Loehmann had given Tamir "multiple commands to show his hands before shooting" and both officers saw him reaching for the weapon. Prosecutors said Loehmann and Garmback were the only two witnesses in the "near vicinity of the shooting."

A state grand jury had declined to indict Loehmann, though he was later fired after it was discovered he was previously deemed "unfit for duty."

The Justice Department also investigated whether the officers obstructed justice in statements they made to other investigators soon after the shooting. Prosecutors concluded that though the statements included some different language, they were generally consistent. And since there was not enough evidence to prove the statements were untrue, there was also not enough evidence to prove that the officers sought to misled investigators or to obstruct a probe into their actions.