Civil Rights & Constitutional Law
Cleveland Scene sues Downtown Cleveland Alliance for removing 26...
April 13, 2017
For the prosecutor to allow police officers who are supposed to be targets of a criminal investigation to submit unsworn statements in response to grand-jury subpoenas requiring live testimony is yet again a stunning irregularity that further taints these proceedings. No ordinary citizen who is under investigation would be afforded this special treatment.
The officers' statements do not establish that their conduct in shooting Tamir Rice was reasonable. Submitting self-serving, unsworn written statements-rather than appearing live before the grand jury so that the officers' versions of events are subject to vigorous cross examination-shows that these officers know their story will not withstand real scrutiny. The officers' statements are inconsistent with one another and the objective video footage contradicts the officers' claims. Loehmann, for example insists that he observed things and took action that would have been physically impossible for any human being to do in the under 2 seconds it took him to shoot a 12-year-old child. While Loehmann claims to have issued at least three commands in under two seconds, Garmback admits the windows to the police vehicle were up, demonstrating that his partner's claims are false.
And of course, neither officer explains why they left a 12-year-old boy bleeding and dying on the ground after shooting him.
The Rice family hopes that the grand jury will see through this and seek justice for Tamir with an indictment.