Police

No Federal Charges for Police Officer Who Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice

Justice Department: “It is not enough to show that the officer made a mistake, acted negligently, acted by accident or mistake, or even exercised bad judgment.”

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The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it's closing its investigation of the fatal police shooting of Tamir Rice. The agency will not recommend any charges against the officers involved.

Rice was shot and killed in 2014 at the age of 12 by then-Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann. Loehmann and a fellow officer responded to a 911 call reporting a "guy with a pistol" in a public park who was occasionally pointing his gun at people. The person who called 911 told the dispatcher they believed the gun was fake, but that information was not passed along to the officers.

When the police car rolled up to the scene, Loehmann exited the car while it was still moving, and within two seconds, opened fire on Rice, shooting the boy in the abdomen. Rice died. Loehmann said that he gave Rice multiple orders to show his hands (even though he shot him almost immediately upon exiting his car) and said that he thought Rice was reaching for the gun. The weapon ultimately turned out to be a toy airsoft gun.

Rice's death was one of many recent unnecessary killings by police. His death led to protests, the Black Lives Matter movement, and demands for reforms in how officers approach suspects, particularly black men and adolescents. After Rice's killing, the Justice Department opened an investigation to determine whether either Loehmann or his partner, Frank Garmback, should face federal charges for violating Rice's civil rights.

Tuesday, the Justice Department reported that, due to the poor quality of the video evidence and disagreement among experts about whether Loehmann's use of force was appropriate, it did not believe it could make a case against the officers.

The decision may reopen old wounds, but the reality was that the federal government's loose standards for police use of deadly force pretty much guaranteed this outcome. The announcement from the Justice Department notes, "[C]aselaw establishes that 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. … It is not enough to show that the officer made a mistake, acted negligently, acted by accident or mistake, or even exercised bad judgment."

It is not relevant to the DOJ's determination that the police officers were not actually facing serious physical harm and that any perceived threat was a result of the officers abruptly careening onto the scene to confront Rice (Garmback actually lost control of the police car driving and skidded 40 feet). What matters to the DOJ is that Loehmann said he believed he was about to be shot by Rice and that this belief was reasonable given the circumstances at that moment.

The tragic and absurd killing of Rice has prompted activists to demand law enforcement agencies and lawmakers rethink the rules for deadly use of force by police. Rather than permitting police to open fire just because they believe they're in danger, reformers instead want to instead establish that police may only use deadly force if it's the only way to stop a suspect from immediately causing injury to others.

California passed such a law in 2019 in response to Sacramento police chasing and fatally shooting Stephon Clark after mistaking his cellphone for a gun in a nighttime backyard confrontation. Body camera footage of the incident showed that the officers were not pinned in or in a vulnerable situation when they mistakenly thought Clark was going to shoot at them. But because California law on the police use of force allowed the officers to claim they had a "reasonable fear" of danger, the Sacramento County district attorney declined to press charges against the officers.

Loehmann may not have been prosecuted, but the City of Cleveland did agree to pay Rice's family $6 million in a settlement. As for Loehmann, though he wasn't charged with a crime, he was fired. It turned out he had concealed from the Cleveland Police that he had previously quit from another police department to avoid being fired for his poor performance there. Amazingly, another police department in Bellaire, Ohio, attempted to hire Loehmann onto their force in 2018, but public outrage prompted him to withdraw his application.

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  1. Another miscarriage of justice!

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  2. F**king animals. Defund them all. Do you think his family even wants that 6 million dollars? No, they want their son back you pigs, you can’t just exchange money for every unarmed Black life that you take and think all the world’s problems go away. Execute these motherf**ckers and maybe then people will be happy.

    1. Once again, the Enlightened Atheist is euphoric. Not because of any phony god’s blessing. But because, he is enlightened by his own intelligence.

    2. The problem is that most laws are bullshit, and amoral animals are attracted to a job that gives them the power to kill and lie without consequence. But we need law enforcement. The alternative is anarchy which will last long enough for another group of amoral animals to gain a monopoly on force. Better the devil you know…

      1. Was the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone an example of a successful exercise of citizen policing? Why can’t we have that system of peacekeeping nationwide instead of relying on sociopathic government employees?

        1. The fact that CHAZ was worse does not make the status quo good.

        2. You’ll have to talk to the anarchists about that.

          1. As a radical individualist (i.e. anarchist), what is your opinion on CHAZ?

            1. I’m not an anarchist.
              I think the CHAZ experiment demonstrates the validity of the critiques against the anarchist theories of law enforcement.

              1. CHAZ killed 6 people in like one month, if that scale was to go across all of the U.S. it would literally be the purge. The entire idea of shutting down the police will only end in death.

              2. Suck a cock Jeff.

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      2. Anarchy means “without rulers” that’s supposed to be the US. Every man a sovereign and so forth. We can achieve that again by prohibiting government from initiating force.

        1. US is not suppose to be an Anarchy.. Yes, every man should have liberty but also ‘Justice’ <-keyword you're missing! Against those who would force-ably take a man's liberty. Ironically; man's biggest threat to liberty is the very entity created to ensure it. That's why the USA is so screwed up right now and way off track.

      3. “Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a Great Leap Forward that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children. In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.” ~Robert Higgs

        1. Great quote.

    3. Whatever grief they had was gone when they got their $6 million payout.

      You don’t take a payoff when you want justice; the money comes from taxpayers, not the police or politicians. If justice was what they wanted, they should have demanded the entire police leadership be fired.

      1. Funny how you’re bad about the settlement than the child being murdered. I wonder why.

        1. Mad

    4. Suck a cock

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    5. F**king animals. Defund them all.

      No. I will continue to fund them – and you can suck a cock.

      Do you think his family even wants that 6 million dollars?

      Don’t give a fuck. They can suck a cock too.

      No, they want their son back you pigs

      They are probably using a cock right now to replace him. And with 6 mil, they are really excited about life now.

      you can’t just exchange money for every unarmed Black life that you take and think all the world’s problems go away

      Sure you can. It’s called an abortion. You see, irresponsible people pull out a cock and some other irresponsible people sit on that cock. So to fix their mistake, they exchange some money to a doctor who takes the life of an unarmed baby. Boom bada bing – all their problems go away.

      Execute these motherf**ckers and maybe then people will be happy.

      Execute you and quite of few of us would be happy. Now shut the fuck up, retard.

  3. No young 5′ 7″ child should have to fear walking the streets while pointing a pellet gun at passersby.

    1. I’ve seen the video of the Tamir Rice shooting. He didn’t have the pellet gun in his hands at all at the time he was shot.

      1. Exactly! This is another example of police executing a man of color. Just like Michael Brown kneeling in the street with his hands up begging for his life before a white cop decided it was his time to die.

        1. No one ever said that.

        2. Isn’t it great how Lavoy Finicum, four passengers, and a minor girl driving a pickup down a highway getting loaded with bullets and finally shot – is a-okay. But every “BLACK” man in the same situation is headline news and nation-wide riots. Focusing on *entitlement* attention by skin color is the very definition of racist…

        3. 780 shot dead so far in Chicago this year, over 4000 people shot. 53 mass shootings (4 or more shot). 80% of the shooters are black, 15% Hispanic, 5% white. Cops have shot and killed six, wounded 13.
          “Denial isn’t a river in Africa, it is the condition in the urban black communities.”

          Can you tell us again who is doing all that shooting, Cupcake?

    2. 5′ 7″

      Height-baiting!

      Unless, at 5’8″, I’m owed reparations. If so, carry on.

      1. When will you manlets learn your lesson?

        1. manlets

          We’ll see how big you feel after a Twitter rage mob cuts you down to size for using the m word so flagrantly!

    3. lol

  4. “What matters to the DOJ is that Loehmann said he believed he was about to be shot by Rice and that this belief was reasonable given the circumstances at that moment.”

    A serious question: What the fuck would it take for the DOJ to conclude that an officier’s belief that he was in danger was not “reasonable”.

    1. Have to be a white male Republican.

      1. The officer or the victim?

        1. You know the answer… BOTH!

    2. Based on the available evidence, there is no scenario where the DOJ will conclude that an officer’s subjective belief was unreasonable. And that’s the problem. This should never depend on subjective belief. It is not, for example, the standard that the police or prosecutors ever tolerate when we peons make a mistake.

      1. ^EXACTLY!! The corruption in the DOJ really shined in their case between “that this belief was reasonable given the circumstances” and “even exercised bad judgment”.

        Here’s something just about everyone should know — there’s no such think as a ‘reasonable’ exercise of bad judgement. They are practically opposites.

      2. The problem isn’t the evidence.

        The problem is the law, as written by the police organizations, that hold police to a different use-of-force standard than everyone else.

        The “reasonable fear” standard should be based on what normal people might fear, not someone trained to kill at the slightest provocation.

  5. The cops had decided they were going to kill the kid before they even arrived. This was murder one.

    1. He was pointing a realistic-looking handgun at people in a public place. Without actually examining the gun, not a single person could know that it wasn’t a real gun. The citizens that called, the dispatcher and the cops that responded were going on a guess. Until they were certain that it wasn’t real, the man (he was over 6ft, 200lbs, not the baby in the photo) with the gun needed to be treated as a threat for the safety of the public and the safety of the officers. Rice reached for the weapon when they approached. It is on video. He should have put his hands up. (Does anyone see a theme?) He didn’t. He reached. He should have put his hands up and yelled, “It is only a BB gun, Officer”. Perhaps Mom should have taught her precious son how to interact with police?
      PRO TIP: If you care about your kid, you won’t let him play with a realistic gun in a city park. Is it REALLY that hard for you people to understand that?

      1. He was pointing a realistic-looking handgun at people in a public place

        No, he wasn’t. He was in a park, by himself, no one around.

        1. Kyfho Myoba….

          There’s a security video showing young Mr Rice pointing the gun at random people passing by…
          And, if Tamir was in the park….by himself…. How did the guy who called 911 know that Tamir had a handgun…?

      2. Reason, when are you going to block the violent racists?

  6. It’s because of cases like this, that I think there ought to be some type of Citizen’s Grand Jury process, where ordinary citizens can go around the District Attorney’s office (or in this case, the DOJ) and empanel a grand jury to investigate a potential crime, like this one, when the DA/DOJ are either too cowardly, too reticent, or too corrupt to bring charges.

    There would obviously need to be some safeguards to this process, otherwise there would be 20 billion grand juries investigating everyone for everything, but there does need to be some check on the DA’s gatekeeping power on whether to investigate and prosecute certain crimes.

    1. There would obviously need to be some safeguards to this process, otherwise there would be 20 billion grand juries investigating everyone for everything, but there does need to be some check on the DA’s gatekeeping power on whether to investigate and prosecute certain crimes.

      Though I don’t disagree with the idea, I disagree with this assessment. The problem won’t be 20 billion citizen grand juries. The problem will be sponsored Antifa mobs swarming local jurisdictions to get violent felons and/or their cronies exonerated. How are you going to prevent something like that from happening? Voter/resident IDs?

      1. How are you going to prevent something like that from happening?

        The same way it doesn’t happen now with grand juries?

        The idea is not about creating a different type of grand jury, but about creating a different method for empaneling a grand jury.

        1. Way back when every jurisdiction always had a sitting grand jury, and the grand jury had the authority to start it’s own investigations.

          The problem of course was that grand juries mostly used that power to start investigations to investigate corruption by government officials, so of course they had to put a stop to that.

        2. The same way it doesn’t happen now with grand juries?

          Most grand juries are composed of non-residents and/or cronies?

          Again I’m not against a new method of empaneling grand juries, I’m just saying that grand jury ‘DOSing’ is self-remedying and far less nefarious than grand jury ‘DDOSing’.

    2. empanel a grand jury to investigate a potential crime, like this one, when the DA/DOJ are either too cowardly, too reticent, or too corrupt to bring charges.

      You are conflating the power of the DoJ to indict with the power of the judiciary to rule on the merits. The DoJ is saving the people money in this case where the inevitable instructions from the judge after the super expensive show trial would leave a jury unable to render a guilty verdict. If it got that far without being dismissed. The same thing would happen with a civilian grand jury except they can be swayed to make an emotional decision instead of a rational one.

      1. Bingo.

        And to Jeff’s point, we elect county or state attorney’s, who empanel grand juries. The public does have influence in the process; it’s simply indirect, as most matters are in our republic.

  7. Also maybe ask yourselves; why did Tamir Rice feel he needed to play with a fake gun?

    1) Masculinity
    2) Sees it on TV, around the house, etc
    3) Dominance over non-weapon holders

    If Tamir had not been holding the fake gun none of this would’ve happened. If the officer and not been holding a real gun, none of this would’ve happened. Tamir isn’t at fault, but society as a whole is responsible for this innocent boy’s life being stolen. The racist officer who shot him deserves life in prison. The family should be investigated to see if anyone close to him owns a gun or talked about owning a gun or showed him television programs of people holding or using guns, and then take appropriate action against the family member(s).
    In a just world, we as a society would give up something ourselves: each taking a week or a month in prison, each giving a thousand or two thousand dollars, but logistically that would probably way too confusing for the average mind to reconcile, so in keeping with society’s boundaries of acceptability I will merely say, ‘I’m sorry Tamir, I am sorry for the role I played in your death. I wish I had more to give, but society will not let me at this time. I would also like to apologize on behalf of society and also specifically on behalf of the Reason comment section as I know that virtually all of them are too proud or too racist to ever admit wrongdoing. If I had my way I would make sure each of them paid more than their fair share to your family for your tragic loss. Rest in power, Tamir, you were one of the good ones and will be missed forever.’

    1. >blames hip hop culture
      You are really no different than the proto-Karen, Tipper Gore.

    2. Also maybe ask yourselves; why did Tamir Rice feel he needed to play with a fake gun?

      Enlightened Atheist recommends black kids play with spears for their own safety.

      1. Winner of the Daily Doofus comment award goes to ‘mad.casual’. Where did I say anything about a spear? Why wasn’t he playing in the sandbox, playing tic-tac-toe or playing with stuffed animals? Derp.
        Heaven (which is fake) forbid children learn how to play Chinese checkers.

        1. Why wasn’t he playing in the sandbox, playing tic-tac-toe or playing with stuffed animals?

          You’ve never actually known any adolescent ghetto residents, have you?

          1. Adolescents, ghetto or not. Most kids, boys and girls, have either figured out or lost interest tic-tac-toe by age 10. As an exceedingly simplistic finite game with no real reward, it’s not a self-standing/motivating activity, it’s a distraction.

            1. Why do you think tic-tac-toe is simple minded? Clearly you’re just not very good. I played tic-tac-toe competitively well into high school and sometimes for fun in college. I have an IQ of 158 and have always gotten a kick out of it. No, it’s obviously not as complicated as chess or checkers, but I still play occasionally online, especially during the pandemic.

              1. I have an IQ of 158 and have always gotten a kick out of it (tic-tac-toe).

                These two things seem mutually exclusive, so I’m guessing you IQ number is either an outright lie or derived from some 20 question test on the internet/cracker – jack box.

        2. Why wasn’t he playing in the sandbox, playing tic-tac-toe or playing with stuffed animals?

          To ammend his previously racist remarks, Enlightened Athiest recommends black kids learn to be content playing in the dirt, playing rigged simple minded games, or playing with Raggedy Anne/Curious George dolls.

    3. Young boys have been playing with toy guns since the invention of the gun, and you have zero chance of stopping it.

      When I was a kid and we were in a situation where actual toy guns weren’t available we would find vaguely gun shaped sticks

      And before the invention of the gun, it was bows & arrows, spears and swords.

      Young boys play with toy weapons, and if you don’t let them have any, they will create their own.

      Pacifist woke shits have no more chance of stopping this than you have of stopping the tides.

      1. And before the invention of the gun, it was bows & arrows, spears and swords.

        Yup. Even today; ban the use of sticks as toy guns and they’ll be used as spears, bows, and arrows. Ban the use of sticks as toy guns, spears, bows, and arrows and they’ll be used as dueling swords. Ban the use of sticks as toy guns, spears, bows, arrows, and dueling swords, and they’ll bash them against trees.

        There’s no media or cultural glorification of bashing trees with sticks; there are no Dads puffing their chests with pride as their son beats a tree with a stick, but absent all the other viable and more structured outlets, boys will do it.

    4. I used to play with toy guns all the time. It was fun. I used to really love the smell of an expended cap. I had a great little cap gun that looked just like a snub-nose ’38, with a revolving cylinder for individual caps that looked like bullets. I had a toy flintlock rifle that would shoot out little cork musket-balls. To this day, my 80 year old mom shoots cats in our backyard with her pellet gun if they get close to her bird houses and feeders. And I used to walk a couple of miles to school, and I used to ride in the back of our Ford Falcon station wagon without seatbelts. That was freedom.

      1. Two years younger than Tamir, I was part of a shooting sports program and put a couple dozen rounds down range every weekend between May and Nov. that Dad was able to take me.

        There were definitely friends and classmates enrolled in the program who were 5’7″ or were closing in on 200 lbs. 30 yrs. later, I can’t definitively recall any who were both. A close personal friend and co-champion was 6’0″ and pushing 175 lbs. by the time he was 14.

    5. I don’t want to pay for life in prison. Hand him over to Rice’s family and be done with it.

      1. But you are OK with giving his Tamir’s Baby Mama 6 million dollars for failing to raise her crotch dropping and instilling in him basic common sense? This sham trial probably cost a million.
        Ghetto logic will only produce ghettos.

        1. Fuck off, racist.

        2. Flagged

    6. Enlightened Atheist….

      Holy Crap, EA…after reading your inspirational diatribe…I’m ready to hang up my guns and join the Peace Corp…!!!

    7. “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” – Reagan

    8. Seek Jesus.

  8. Calm down, the United States is not racist and there was no crime just the right of a white adult to denounce a black boy “threatening” people with a gun and the right of another to kill and get away with it.

  9. If you roll up with 10 feet of somebody and open fire within 2 seconds of getting out of your cruiser, where’s the reasonable belief again?

    1. The reasonable belief to be unreasonable says the DOJ, “exercised bad judgment”.

  10. “ Rice’s death was one of many recent unnecessary killings by police.”

    The number has been steadily dropping but I guess we don’t care to mention that since it doesn’t fit the narrative.

    1. Good! Now the cops are disproportionately killing white men instead of black men.

      1. If your going to focus on ‘skin color’; you need to make a solid argument. W/B population ratio’s, W/B criminal ratio’s and my favorite [R] to [D] police forces. Show the real numbers; make a believer out of me and lets get to the bottom of it.

  11. Fun facts ignored by the media: 5’7, 195 lbs. He almost weighs as much as me and I’m 6’0. The cops thought he was at least 20. They “refused” to cooperate per their lawyers (good laywers btw) because they knew it was a phishing expedition by scared politicians and their IA/fed slaves looking to sacrifice the officers to save face. I’m glad they did the right thing and refused to charge.

    Nobody is happy when innocent people get hurt or killed, but tragedy doesn’t give the victims a free pass to scapegoat either.

    1. Fun facts ignored by the media: 5’7, 195 lbs. He almost weighs as much as me and I’m 6’0. The cops thought he was at least 20.

      So if a regular citizen who solicits a 12 yr. old girl who’s 5’7″ and 135 lb. girl, he can validly claim the fact that he thought she was at least 20 as a defense? It’s not like he’s responsible for serving and protecting or that he killed anybody.

    2. I somehow doubt you’d come to the same conclusion if a non cop shot a white kid with no other details changed.

    3. Do you feel better about your racism?

  12. The black community worries a whole lot about the white police. Black men slaughtering other black people – eh, who cares. Year after year. Same story. The massacre goes on.

  13. (Garmback actually lost control of the police car driving and skidded 40 feet)

    If he’d rolled over the kid and injured him, would he have faced charges then? Is the lesson here that you’d better start shooting first before you accidentally injure someone with your vehicle?

    Police create dangerous circumstance.
    Police shout conflicting and confusing orders at suspect.
    Suspect spends a little more than one second confused and afraid by irrational police behavior.
    Police kill suspect.

    Government says government operatives followed government procedures and forgives government.

  14. You forgot the first steps.

    Homo sapiens evolves (just not very sapiens).
    A few people do stupid and/or tragic things with guns.
    Some Americans fear guns.
    Media and politicians see the value from inflating gun fear.
    More Americans fear guns, and some REALLY fear guns.
    Somebody (probably in the fearful group) reports a kid with a gun.
    Armed officials are sent to do something.

  15. Did this happen in a Democrat-Majority ran city?

  16. Pretty much everyone involved, the two police officers, the local prosecutors, the DOJ lawyers, the judges responsible for the precedents and caselaw, as well as the specific judges involved in this case, and the politicians overseeing everything are ecstatic that an innocent child was murdered with impunity by an agent of the state.

  17. The problem is the law, as written by police organizations, not the DOJ.

    This time.

  18. “The great masses of men, though theoretically free, are seen to submit supinely to oppression and exploitation of a hundred abhorrent sorts. Have they no means of resistance? Obviously they have. The worst tyrant, even under democratic plutocracy, has but one throat to slit. The moment the majority decided to overthrow him he would be overthrown. But the majority lacks the resolution; it cannot imagine taking the risks.” ~ H. L. Mencken (1926). “Notes on Democracy,” p. 50, Alfred A. Knopf
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

  19. The ghetto lottery is rigged. Only bad parents win.
    I saw this kid’s Mom on the news. She takes no responsibility whatsoever for her son being in a public park, pointing a realistic weapon at people for fun. I guess that isn’t her fault. The library was probably closed that day.
    BTW, that picture is years old, doesn’t “Mom of the Year” have a more photo of the 200+ lb man/kid that foolishly confronted officers with a weapon in his hand?

    1. 12 years old. There was no confrontation. The cop was already shooting before the cruiser even stopped.

    2. By the way, you are absolutely disgusting.

    3. Flagged

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