On December 28, 2015, a Cleveland grand jury ruled that there were not sufficient grounds to indict the officers involved in the 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice. The decision has furthered the discussion of police shootings, policing tactics, and law enforcement accountability that has swept the U.S. since the 2013 Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin. Cleveland Jewish News reached out to Attorney Ian Friedman for his take on the decision last week.
"The decision, based upon all of the evidence, when you’re able to take away the emotion—as hard as that may be to do," Attorney Friedman said in a phone interview, "leads to only one conclusion and that was that there is insufficient grounds for an indictment."
According to Friedman, the grand jury ruling was correct based on careful consideration of what patrolmen Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback knew as they approached the 12-year-old Tamir Rice as he sat alone at Cudell Recreation Center holding a toy gun. "If you pare the entire case down, it comes down to what the officer knew in less than two seconds," Friedman added. "This officer did not have all of the information and rode up on someone who he believed was pulling a real firearm from his waistband. He had no other choice but to respond the way he did."
Not the end of the issue?
While Attorney Friedman believes that there was little grounds to pursue criminal convictions of the officers involved, he does believe that the Rice family may have better prospects in pursuing justice in Civil Court. "Now, there may have been breakdowns in communication from the dispatcher, there may have been policy violations," he told Cleveland Jewish Times, "but that will all be rightfully heard in a civil court, not made for the criminal court."
The next steps in the Tamir Rice case are not yet known, but it continues to inspire protests and concerns among the community. In a Dec 28 statement, the Rice family criticized Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, who they accused of "abusing and manipulating" the grand jury process.
If you are facing a criminal accusation and want knowledgeable and accomplished counsel on your side, we invite you to contact Ian N. Friedman today. Attorney Friedman is one of the most respected and sought-after criminal defense attorneys in Cleveland and has consistently secured favorable outcomes both in and outside the courtroom for his clients.
Get proven representation by your side during this difficult time. Call us at 888.694.4645 today.