AG's office does not have authority to intervene in Tamir case

Published: Nov. 23, 2015 at 11:38 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2015 at 9:55 PM EST
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Tamir Rice supporters at the Justice Center. (Source: WOIO)
Tamir Rice supporters at the Justice Center. (Source: WOIO)
Tamir Rice supporters at the Justice Center. (Source: WOIO)
Tamir Rice supporters at the Justice Center. (Source: WOIO)
Justice Center (Source: WOIO)
Justice Center (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - On the one year anniversary of Tamir Rice's death, family members, friends and supporters of Tamir went to the Justice Center Monday to deliver a petition to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty.

They are upset how the case is being handled. Tamir's cousin, Latonya Goldsby and a group of her supporters, took a petition with 200,000 signatures on it up to Prosecutor McGinty's office.  They were greeted by the prosecutor's public relations representative, who said McGinty was in court and would be in meetings all afternoon.

The exchange between McGinty's representative and the crowd became heated as the group was told McGinty was not in his office.

Goldsby went back downstairs to the crowd outside the Justice Center and said she was turned away.  

"Today, I requested to speak with him, and he is not present. I refuse to not fight for my cousin. McGinty needs to take responsibility for his actions just as those officers that killed Tamir Rice," said Goldsby. 

Goldsby vowed to the crowd, she would be back. 

"Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback murdered my 12-year-old cousin. They need to be arrested, today. McGinty needs to step aside today. Mike Dewine needs to step in and appoint a special prosecutor today," said Goldsby.

In response to the petition that was presented today,  a spokesperson for McGinty said that, "citizens in the United States have every right to petition their government."

The group has the following demands:

  • We ask that the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor recuse himself from the Tamir Rice investigation and appoint an Independent Special Prosecutor not affiliated with Ohio.
  • We are also demanding McGinty issue an apology to the family after the disparaging comments he made in the media.
  • We have been diligent in our call for the arrest of the officers involved in the shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice, Officer Loehmann and Officer Garmback. We demand an immediate termination of both officers.
  • We are demanding Judge Adrian’s findings of Probable Cause for an arrest of the officers to be presented to the Grand Jury.
  • We are demanding Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine intervene and appoint a special Independent Prosecutor due to the prosecutor’s close relationship with Cleveland police.
  • If these demands are not met by Prosecutor McGinty and Attorney General Mike DeWine by Wednesday, November 25th, we will ask the community for a recall of these elected officials.

The attorney general's office responded with the following: The Ohio Revised Code does not provide the Attorney General's Office any authority to "intervene and appoint a special Independent Prosecutor." Therefore, I cannot advise that this has ever occurred due to the lack of statutory authority to do so.

Tamir, 12-years-old, was shot at Cudell Rec Center after police say they told him to drop an airsoft pellet gun -- modified to look like a real pistol. 

Sunday, about 300 supporters joined the Rice family at the rec center under the pavilion near where Tamir was shot.

Tamir Rice's mother Samaria Rice and the two Cleveland officers involved, Officer Frank Garmback and Officer Timothy Loehmann, have all been subpoenaed and are expected to testify before the grand jury later this month or early December.

McGinty has said he has not reached any conclusions about charges in the shooting of the 12-year-old.

A previous planned march preceding the petition delivery was canceled Monday due to the weather, according to organizers.

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