A march in front of City Hall on Dec. 29, 2015, in Cleveland. Demonstrators took to the street the day after a grand jury declined to indict Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann for the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice on Nov. 22, 2014.
A Cleveland City Council member is also pushing to seek negligent-homicide charges against the officers under city law.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has stated that the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice will face a new administrative review, following a grand jury decision to decline to press charges against the officers, NBC News reports.
During a press conference Tuesday, Jackson insisted that regardless of what the grand jury believed about the young boy’s death last year, “it should not have happened,” repeating, “It should not have happened. It simply should not have happened.
“I do not have a comment on what the grand jury did,” he added. “Now it’s in our world, and we are going to do what we believe is the right thing.”
Meanwhile, a member of the City Council, Jeffrey Johnson, announced that same evening that he would seek negligent-homicide charges in the case under city law, which, “unfortunately,” he tweeted, “is the highest local city law that can be charged.” A conviction would carry only about six months in jail, but Johnson argued that the process would open the doors for another full review of the shooting, the site notes.
“The officers owed a duty to the innocent #TamirRice which means they should have refrained from acting in a harmful way that caused death,” Johnson tweeted.
On Monday, when the grand jury declined to press criminal charges, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said that it was “reasonable” that Cleveland Officer Timothy Loehman fired the fatal shots at the 12-year-old child the second he arrived at the scene. Loehmann, he argued, had reason to believe that he was in danger when Tamir supposedly reached for the pellet gun that he was playing with.
“He had reason to fear for his life,” McGinty said.
Jackson said that pending the new review, Loehmann and partner Frank Garmback remain on restricted duty, “basically in an office doing paperwork.”
The mayor, along with the police chief, said that the city is prepared for protests, acknowledging them as part of the healing process, NBC notes.
“People are upset, and legitimately and rightfully so,” Jackson said. “You have an expression of legitimate concern about the system.”
Read more at NBC News.