Ohio AG to serve as special prosecutor in Tanisha Anderson case - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Ohio AG to serve as special prosecutor in Tanisha Anderson case

Tanisha Anderson died in police custody on Nov. 12, 2014. (Source: Family) Tanisha Anderson died in police custody on Nov. 12, 2014. (Source: Family)
Tamir Rice was shot by Cleveland police officers while holding a toy gun. (Source: Family) Tamir Rice was shot by Cleveland police officers while holding a toy gun. (Source: Family)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office has been appointed as special prosecutor to investigate the death of 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson, who died in police custody on Nov. 12, 2014 after struggling with officers trying to take her for a psychiatric evaluation. 

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said he asked DeWine to take over the case after investigators from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department informed prosecutors of facts that created a conflict of interest for the prosecutor’s office. Originally, the sheriff's department was asked by the prosecutor's office to conduct an investigation into the case on June 19, 2015.

Anderson died 10 days before 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot to death holding an airsoft pistol with the orange tip removed. Rice's case is already closed with no charges filed against the Cleveland police officers involved, but closure in Anderson's case lingers.  

The prosecutor's office claims the conflict falls under Brady-Garrity laws. We did some digging and discovered there could be statements made by officers to their superiors concerning the death of Anderson, which according to Garrity law, cannot be presented to the grand jury. It's the same protection any citizen has to not self-incriminate.  

Civil Rights Attorney Subodh Chandra, who represents the Rice family and a whistleblower who discovered runway safety concerns at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, wonders why McGinty wants a special prosecutor appointed to the investigation, despite disputes from family and community activists. 

"Ohio Attorney General DeWine made comments endorsing Prosecutor McGinty's bizarre conduct in the criminal investigation of the officers responsible for Tamir Rice's death. DeWine’s comments included a false suggestion that it's somehow normal "in cases like these" to fail to cross-examine officers who have taken the oath and testified—special treatment that is not afforded to non-police targets of criminal investigation. The attorney general also disclaimed that he would make a recommendation to the grand jury one way or the other in police cases, which, again, is the normal practice in criminal investigations (except, apparently, when pro-police prosecutors want to avoid accountability). So having this attorney general responsible for investigating police misconduct should not provide the public with any greater confidence," said Chandra. 

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