Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer last year, has called for a different prosecutor to handle the case, stating the current prosecutor is biased in favor of the officer, reports said.
Rice’s family has cited an 11-month wait, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s decision to release two reports which concluded the shooting was reasonable, as proof an independent prosecutor should take over the case.
“We are concerned, we are upset, we are frustrated, we are angry, because we feel that justice is not in process, and not in motion in this case,” Rice family attorney Jonathan Abady stated during a press conference Oct. 16.
ABady has also sent a letter to McGinty stating the family’s concerns.
“I am very disappointed in the way Timothy McGinty is handling this investigation,“ Samaria Rice stated. “I would like for him to step down, and allow an independent prosecutor to take over.”
In response to the allegations, McGinty has reportedly said he has no plans to step down from the case, and is still gathering evidence which he will present to a grand jury in order to determine whether charges should be filed against the officer.
“Whatever the outcome of a case, the public should not be surprised by — or unaware of the basis for — any decision,” he said in a statement. “Some parties may be displeased with evidence, or reports as they are disclosed, but by making them public before conclusion, there is an opportunity to correct errors.”
According to authorities, Timothy Loehmann, an officer in training, fatally shot Tamir Rice after pulling up outside a Cleveland recreation center in November 2014, while Tamir, an African-American boy, had been playing with a pellet gun.
The shooting came last year following controversy surrounding the killings of unarmed black men in several states across the country.
“Here, it appears your office has abandoned its obligation to diligently pursue criminal charges against the killer of a 12-year-old boy because the shooter was a police officer,” the family’s attorneys stated in the letter. “We view this as an abuse of the grand jury process. Regrettably, under these circumstances, we fear the grand jury is being utilized to cover up an improper effort to protect police officers who should be subject to the criminal law.”