Community leaders to call on judge to issue arrest warrants in Tamir Rice case

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Tamir Rice (Photo Credit: Timothy Kucharski)

CLEVELAND–  Cleveland community leaders will not wait for prosecutors to decide whether or not murder charges should be filed in the Tamir Rice case. They will go straight to a judge.

According to a press release, a group of civil rights leaders, activists, and clergy will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to announce they are filing a number of citizens’ affidavits for probable cause in the 12-year-old’s death. The release states that the affidavits will call on a judge to issue arrest warrants for the two officers involved.

Police shot and killed Tamir Rice last November. They received a call about a male pointing a gun at people outside the Cudell Recreation Center. Investigators found he had an airsoft pistol that looked like a powerful handgun.

Rev. Dr. Jawanza Colvin, pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, said in the release:

“We are still waiting for the criminal justice system to enact justice in the name of Tamir Rice. It has been more than six months since his tragic death and, yet, the people still have no answers and no one has been held accountable. Today, citizens are taking matters into their own hands utilizing the tools of democracy as an instrument of justice.”

In response, Steve Loomis, President of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, released the following statement to the FOX 8 I-Team:

“Talk about a grandstand of vigilantism. This is yet another attempt to totally disrespect and disregard our justice system.

The same ambulance chasing attorneys that demanded a “transparent investigation from an outside agency be completed”, and that the facts of that investigation “be presented to the Grand Jury”, have now changed their minds. These same folks now want to bypass not only the independent investigation they demanded, but the grand jury system as well.

While those with agendas continue to disregard evidence, rules of law, and fact, in lieu of the self serving, emotional and fictitious claims, the Ferguson Effect continues to grow. The unfortunate and unintended result we be that those that need us the most will be made to suffer from increasing lawlessness of an emboldened criminal element.

The continued attacks on police officers and our justice system will only serve to increase the “Ferguson Effect” among police officers.

While these ambulance chasers continue to demand police officers be “held accountable” for their actions they are seemingly never content with that accountability. They also NEVER hold the involved suspects accountable for their actions and continue to ignore the generational and decades old issues that continue to degrade and plague our society.

It continues to amaze me that while police involved shootings represent less than 1% of ALL shootings nationwide, they represent nearly 90% of the story line of national, state, and local media coverage.

The vast and mostly silent majority of law abiding, God fearing citizens are sick of these attacks on police officers and support the very difficult and absolutely necessary jobs we do.”

Stay with fox8.com for LIVE coverage of Tuesday’s press conference.

Continuing coverage of the shooting of Tamir Rice here.