CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The mother of a Cleveland boy who was carrying a pellet gun when he was shot and killed by a police officer will testify before a grand jury within the next few weeks.
The attorney for Tamir Rice's mother says Samaria Rice will testify, despite the family's concerns about the investigation and calls for the county prosecutor to step aside, allowing a special prosecutor to take over the case.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty did not send her a subpoena, but asked her to testify and she agreed.
Rice's attorney, Subodh Chandra, released the following response:
The prosecutor has failed to respond to three letters expressing the Rice family's concerns about his conduct of the supposed criminal investigation. These concerns range from:
- the prosecutor's uncritical touting of so-called experts with dubious backgrounds,
- to his brandishing of reports that ignore critical facts such as Officer Loehmann firing immediately and both officers leaving 12-year-old Tamir bleeding and dying on the ground,
- to the prosecutor's failure to admit that those reports make up non-existent testimony about what the officers will say,
- to the prosecutor personally vouching for the reports' writers when lawyers aren't supposed to do that,
- to the prosecutor publicly insulting Ms. Rice and her counsel,
- to the prosecutor refusing to say whether he will give the grand jury Judge Adrine's opinion that probable cause exists,
- to the prosecutor refusing to say whether he'll offer the grand jury Professor Witmer-Rich's opinion that a jury, not experts, must decide the issues in the case,
- to the prosecutor refusing to say that he'll tell the family and the public what his recommendation to the grand jury is before he makes it.
"Despite the disrespect demonstrated by the prosecutor's refusal to respond in writing point-by-point to all of these substantive concerns—and her belief that he should step aside and let a fair prosecutor take over—Ms. Rice will do her civic duty and testify voluntarily. She hopes that the grand jury will see through the prosecutor's mishandling of the process," Chandra said.
The family has accused McGinty of relying on experts, who are biased in favor of police, so charges won't be brought against the officers.
The two Cleveland officers involved, Officer Frank Garmback and Officer Timothy Loehmann, have also been subpoenaed. They are expected to testify before the grand jury later this month.
McGinty says he has not reached any conclusions about charges in the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir, who was shot and killed outside Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014.