Cleveland Mayor on Tamir Rice Shooting Death: A wrong has been done
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Less than 24 hours after a Cuyahoga County grand jury decided not to indict Officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson held a second news conference regarding Monday's decision.
"A wrong has been done. Now, whether that wrong is legal, or whether that wrong is administrative, the fact is a 12-year-old has lost his life, and it should not have happened. It simply should not have happened," said Jackson.
Following the grand jury's announcement, Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams explained the next steps in the city's administrative review, now that the criminal part of the case is complete. The mayor says the city is in constant contact right now with community leaders and local clergy to deal with reaction to the grand jury's decision not to indict the officers responsible for Tamir Rice's shooting death. Speaking from the mayor's conference room, Jackson and Williams said they will not be pressured by outside influences while conducting their administrative review.
"Now that the criminal portion of this incident has concluded, the city will begin an administrative review to determine if policies and procedures were violated. We will conduct this review in an honest and transparent way with due process at its core - not just process," said Jackson.
The mayor says he hopes the administrative investigation into the officers involved in the case will be perceived differently.
"The committee is put together to review the incident from start to finish, to take into consideration also, grand jury testimony. We are going to request those records from the county. The sheriff did an investigation on this. We are going to request their investigation to make sure that we aren't missing anything. All that in totality will determine if there was wrongdoing on the part of these officers," said Williams.
The mayor says he welcomes protestors, but the police, he says, will not tolerate anyone destroying property or hurting others.
For a brief moment during the press conference, the mayor was without words.
When asked what he would say to Tamir Rice's mother, he responded, "A 12-year-old lost his life, what can I say to a mother? What am I going to say to a mother? I have a 13-year-old grandson, who just turned 13, same size, so what can I say?"
Tamir was shot by Cleveland Police on Cudell Rec Center's playground in front of his school, not too far from his home on Nov. 22, 2014. Witnesses called police when they saw him waving around a gun that looked real.
Also at Tuesday's news conference, Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath said the administrative review of 13 officers in the deadly November 2012 police pursuit is complete. Those findings are expected to be released some time in mid-January.
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