No charges: Grand jury refuses to indict policemen in fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice

Grand juries have refused to indict police involved in the deaths of Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland

Published December 28, 2015 7:45PM (EST)

This undated photo provided by the family's attorney shows Tamir Rice. (AP Photo/Courtesy Richardson & Kucharski Co., L.P.A.)
This undated photo provided by the family's attorney shows Tamir Rice. (AP Photo/Courtesy Richardson & Kucharski Co., L.P.A.)

A grand jury declined Monday to indict the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a Cleveland park in November, 2014.

In yet another racially charged case in which a black youth was killed by a white officer, the grand jury refused to indict either of the two officers involved in the shooting, AP reported.

Timothy McGinty, the prosecutor in the case, claimed the shooting should be blamed on a "perfect storm of human error" and that "evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police."

Neighbors saw the 12-year-old playing with a toy gun on Nov. 22, 2014 and called the police. Within two seconds of arriving, Patrolman Timothy Loehmann shot the young boy, later stating he thought the gun was real. After shooting Rice, neither Loehmann nor his partner, Frank Garmback, administered first aid. Rice died the next day.

This ruling comes just one week after a grand jury also refused to indict anyone involved in the death of Sandra Bland in police custody in Texas.

The decision echoes those made by grand juries about the police killings of other unarmed black Americans.

In November 2014, a grand jury refused to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

In December 2014, a grand jury declined to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Eric Garner in fatal chokehold on a Staten Island sidewalk while arresting him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.

The police killings of Brown, Rice, Garner, and Bland fomented the rise of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement.

The repeated failures of grand juries to indict any of the officers responsible have led activists to accuse the U.S. justice system of ensuring impunity for police despite misconduct, and have inspired civil rights uprisings against police brutality and structural racism in Ferguson and beyond.

By Ben Norton

Ben Norton is a politics reporter and staff writer at AlterNet. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

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Cleveland Police Eric Garner Michael Brown Police Brutality Sandra Bland Tamir Rice