CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has found sheriff’s deputies are not yet ready to send the Tamir Rice investigation to the county prosecutor for review. And we’re finding out more about the detectives actually working the case.
Last November, Cleveland Police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Cleveland police turned over the investigation to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, and some in the community have asked are deputies prepared and qualified to do it? Traditionally, Cleveland police have investigated their own shootings.
We filed a records request asking for a breakdown of the training qualifications for the deputies involved in the investigation.
The county emailed a statement saying the investigation team in the Rice case is made up of four sheriff’s department detectives and two detective sergeants. Additionally, the sheriff’s department says, “Collectively, these officers possess nearly 75 years of law enforcement experience.”
The statement adds that the investigators on this case have gone through training in courses such as “Death and Homicide”, “Use of Force and Documentation”, “Firearms Investigation”, and 21 other areas.
However, he county did not reveal any more specifics about the investigators or their backgrounds. Police said last year that Tamir Rice had an airsoft pellet gun that looked like a pistol. But security video from the Cudell Rec Center shows the shooting happened almost immediately as a police car rolled up. And police admitted the shooting happened during an encounter of less than 2 seconds.
In this case, the sheriff’s department is also getting some outside assistance. Sunday, state agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation joined deputies back at the crime scene.
Meantime, the sheriff has said deputies will be undergoing more training in deadly force cases since the department may be handling more of these investigations. In fact, the sheriff’s department played a role in investigating the 2012 Cleveland police shooting that left two people dead after a long chase.
Over the weekend, The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and BCI revisited the scene at Cudell Rec Center. Watch the video below.