Samaria Rice, whose 12-year-old son, Tamir Rice, was fatally shot last year by a Cleveland police officer, said she wants a different prosecutor to handle the case, CBS News reports. “Since the senseless shooting of my son Tamir, I have had many sleepless nights and days—almost a year, no justice, no peace,” she said at a news conference Friday.
“I am very disappointed in the way Timothy McGinty is handling this investigation,“ she added, referring to the head of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. “I would like for him to step down and allow an independent prosecutor to take over.”
On Nov. 22, Cleveland Officer Timothy Loehmann and his partner responded to a call about a person wielding a gun. They pulled up to Tamir in their patrol car at a Cleveland recreation center, and within two seconds of exiting the vehicle, Loehmann fatally shot the boy, who had been playing with a pellet gun.
McGinty’s office this month posted two reports on its website from independent experts who agreed that the shooting was justified under the circumstances. Since then, news reports have indicated that McGinty’s investigators have a history of siding with the police.
Jonathan Abady, an attorney for Tamir’s family, sent a letter (pdf) to the prosecutor Friday “to express the Rice family’s disappointment and grave concern” about how his office is handling the case. Abady accuses McGinty in the eight-page letter of hiring “pro-police experts” and crtiticizes him for sharing the experts’ reports with the media but not with the family.
In a statement, McGinty said that he will not remove himself from the case and plans to take it to a grand jury, according to CBS.
“Some parties may be displeased with evidence or reports as they are disclosed, but by making them public before conclusion, there is an opportunity to correct errors,” McGinty said in the statement.
Read more at CBS News.