The Justice Department has decided not to pursue justice at all.
After effectively giving up on the Tamir Rice case in November of this year, the Department of Justice is now officially pulling the plug on the entire investigation. The 12-year-old was fatally shot by officers in 2014 after a toy gun he was holding was misidentified by police officer Timothy Loehmann. The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it found insufficient evidence to support any federal charges against the officers involved in the shooting.
According to the Justice Department's release, "In order to establish a federal civil rights violation, the government would have to prove that Officer Loehmann's actions were unreasonable under the circumstances, and that his actions were willful," federal attorneys wrote. " ... an officer is permitted to use deadly force where he reasonably believes that the suspect posed an imminent threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others. "
Angelo Merendino/Getty Images
Prosecutors claimed that since officers at the scene said that Loehmann assumed Rice was going for a gun, the Justice Department would have to prove that
"1) Tamir was not reaching for his gun; and 2) that Officer Loehmann did not perceive that Tamir was reaching for his gun, despite his consistent statements to the contrary."
Jonathan Abady, the attorney for the family of Tamir Rice, told CNN that Rice's mother Samaria is filled with grief and disappointment. "This case involves the totally unjustified shooting of a 12-year-old child," he said. "This is part of a problem that we've been living with as a society for as long as anyone can remember, that is the unjustified excessive use of force by police officers against people of color.
He continued, "And the idea that people would not be held accountable for this is really more than upsetting."
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Loehmann was let go in May 2017 for an issue not relating to the shooting
. Officer Frank Garmback, the other officer involved in the case, was suspended for just 10 days because of rules violated relating to how he approached Rice at the scene.
Our prayers go out to Tamir's family.