Cleveland groups demand action following grand jury decision

Cleveland groups demand action following grand jury decision
Dozens of Tamir Rice supporters on hand to deliver petition to Cuyahoga County prosecutor. (Source: WOIO)
Dozens of Tamir Rice supporters on hand to deliver petition to Cuyahoga County prosecutor. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A coalition of Cleveland organizations says it's seeking immediate action following the grand jury's decision not to indict the officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Cleveland's NAACP chapter, the Cleveland Renaissance MovementIt's Not a Moment It's a Movement, Black People in Progress, and the Nation of Islam, laid out three specific demands Monday as they work to "restore confidence" in the city's justice system. The group is demanding the removal of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, the renegotiation of the Cleveland Police Patrolman Association contract, and grand jury transcripts.

Representatives announced they are looking for a candidate -- Democrat or Republican -- to run against McGinty. The group says this is not about politics, it's about justice.

"McGinty has an election coming in March and if we want to really see justice for Tamir Rice and Tanisha Anderson, and all the other victims we don't have time to name, then we must come together and vote Tim McGinty out of office," said Kyle Earley, president of It's Not a Moment It's a Movement.

The group is demanding Mayor Frank Jackson look into the Cleveland police union contract and amend it. The coalition feels there are conflicts between the contracts from the CPPA and the Consent Decree with the Department of Justice. They want Mayor Jackson to review police contracts and focus on changing what happens to officers involved in deadly shootings.

Basheer Jones, a community activist and member of the Cleveland Renaissance Movement, says officers should receive some punishment in deadly shooting cases, such as Tamir Rice and the 2012 police chase where Cleveland officers fired 137 shots at unarmed citizens.

"They should not be able to do what they're doing and get back to their jobs with back pay," said Jones.

The group also wants transcripts of the grand jury proceedings to be made public.

"We need to know what it was that was presented by the prosecutor," said Attorney Mike Nelson, president of the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP.

Following Monday's grand jury announcement, the NAACP issued the following statement:

"The failure of the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury to indict the killers of young Tamir Rice with murder is a miscarriage of justice. This case has been botched from its inception by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor."

Cleveland has seen peaceful protests this week following the grand jury's decision, and members of the group say there will be more demonstrations in the days ahead.

"At this moment, activists from all over the country are coming to march and walk with us," said Jones.

The NAACP is asking all activists to continue to hold organized and structured protests and join them in an effort to put an international eye on the city of Cleveland.

"We are aware that Republican National Convention is coming up, and we are aware that elections are coming up, and if you think we're going to be silent then you must be in Never Never land," said Jones.

Stay with Cleveland 19 for continuing coverage of the Tamir Rice case.

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