CLEVELAND -- Attorneys representing the family of Tamir Rice want officers who read a statement to grand jurors be called back for additional testimony.
In a letter sent to Cuyahoga Prosecutor Tim McGinty attorneys state they do not believe the officers should have been allowed to read a statement and then invoke their fifth amendment right.
"No one now except police officers in Cuyahoga County apparently is ever permitted to have it both ways: make a self-serving statement under oath but be free of any cross-examination to expose the truth. The officers' statements were replete with opportunities for aggressive cross- examination. The irregular tactics these officers used, the contradictions between-and physical impossibilities claimed in-their statements, and the facts left unsaid yet apparent from the video evidence are ripe for cross-examination," part of the letter states.
Union President Steve Loomis said Wednesday the officers read their statements to grand jurors hearing the case.
The grand jury has been hearing the case since the end of October.
Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Meyer gave a statement about similar situations, not specifically the Rice case:
"As a general matter, when the target of an investigation is informed that they are a suspect, and at any time that person invokes their Fifth Amendment rights to refuse to answer questions about the incident that makes them a suspect, there is no constitutional way to compel their testimony. If there were, there would be no purpose in even having a Fifth Amendment."
Loomis released the following statement:
"They did not waive their 5th Amendment rights at any time and as Chandra should know they have the Constitutional right to assert their 5th Amendment rights at any time during questioning.
"In this order; they were sworn in, went in and stated "Under advice of Counsel, I am asserting my 5th Amendment Constitutional Right against self-incrimination and therefore cannot answer any questions today. I will read this statement into the record.
"Subodh Chandra and his crew display a unique and unprecedented level of incompetence every time they put pen to paper regarding this case. Their lack of knowledge or possibly respect for the law is both unfortunate and epic. They continue to make a mockery of the legal system for their personal, political, and financial gain with little or no regard for fact or the laws to which those facts are applied."
Tamir Rice, 12, was shot by a Cleveland officer last year after police thought the gun he was handling was real. Police say they ordered Tamir to put his hands up and when he reached for his waistband he was shot.
It turns out Tamir had an airsoft pistol that police say looked like a real gun.
Rice’s family says they want the officers involved to be charged. They say the 12-year-old was shot in less than two seconds after police arrived.