CLEVELAND-- A judge has released his recommendations in the Tamir Rice case.
Judge Ronald Adrine on Thursday recommended that Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shot, should face a murder charge. He found Loehmann should also face a charge of involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide and that Officer Frank Garmack, who was driving the police cruiser, should not.
He found both officers should face charges of negligent homicide and dereliction of duty; he said neither officer should face an aggravated murder charge.
According to a municipal court spokesperson, these are only recommendations. The decision is ultimately in the hands of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office and a Grand Jury.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty released the following statement in response to the judge's opinion:
"This case, as with all other fatal use of deadly force cases involving law enforcement officers, will go to the Grand Jury. That has been the policy of this office since I was elected. Ultimately, the Grand Jury decides whether police officers are charged or not charged."
Tamir Rice's mother, Samaria Rice, released the following statement:
"I (we) have remained strong only with the knowledge that my son's innocence has given me the strength in the darkest times of this ordeal, and throughout this ordeal, I'm appreciative of the invaluable support from family, friends and strangers and their kindness has sustained me. but, I must say- again-We (Family/Advocates) stand firm in our efforts to bring justice to Tamir-while we understand that the charges are pending-what we want is a conviction, with that in mind we stand firm in our efforts to move forward in our fight."
Here is what the City of Cleveland has to say:
"Today Judge Ronald Adrine issued a judgement entry finding probable cause to charge Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback with various criminal offenses.
At the city’s request the County Sheriff conducted and completed an investigation of the facts surrounding the shooting of Tamir Rice and submitted his findings to the County Prosecutor.
The City Prosecutor has referred Judge Adrine’s entry to the County Prosecutor for review and to determine whether charges will be issued."
Here is what the Rice family attorney, Walter Madison, had to say.
"The historic significance of today cannot be underscored enough, " said Walter Madison, an attorney representing the estate of Tamir Rice. " When citizens are allowed to participate there is engagement, transparency, and legitimacy, which encourages obedience, and that is why this is a blueprint for the rest of the nation.The Cleveland 8 achieved this through civility and intellect."
On Tuesday, community leaders and activists said they want the officers involved in the shooting death of Tamir Rice, 12, arrested on several charges including murder.
Fox 8’s Peggy Gallek was in court as eight community activists filed affidavits for probable cause, asking for a judge to issue arrest warrants for the two officers involved.
Police shot and killed 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 air soft pistol that looked like a powerful handgun.