Tamir Rice investigation turned over to Cuyahoga County prosecutor for review

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CLEVELAND- The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office turned the investigation into the death of  12-year-old Tamir Rice over to the prosecutor's office.

Cuyahoga County sheriff deputies who worked on the Rice case met with prosecutors Wednesday morning for about an hour. The prosecutor will decide if the officers involved will face any criminal charges.

“As I stated in my briefing on May 12, 2015,” Sheriff Clifford Pinkney said, “my department has been diligently working on the investigation. We have concluded our work and I have turned it over to the prosecutor who will take it through the next steps.” In a news release, Pinkney reiterated that it is up to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty to determine how to proceed.

The sheriff's office does not make recommendations on charges.

For months, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department has been leading the investigation. That has included interviewing people involved, gathering surveillance video and re-creating the scene with the help of agents from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

However, the Fox 8 I-Team learned the two officers directly involved in the shooting have not spoken to sheriff’s deputies. Police union leaders have expressed concern statements would be used against them for charges.

The sheriff's department is not commenting on specifics about the investigation.

Last November, Cleveland police said Rice had an airsoft pistol that looked like a powerful handgun. Police said he reached into his waistband as police pulled up to him. An attorney for the family though has said the encounter lasted less than two seconds.

The county prosecutor could decide on any charges after reviewing the case, conduct hearings before a grand jury or call for more investigation.

The prosecutor's office also made a statement about the investigation:

In accordance with our office policy and as Prosecutor McGinty reiterated in his statement following the Brelo verdict, we will review the investigation, do additional investigation if it is needed, and present everything to the Grand Jury for consideration.

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