Justice

Cleveland Gets Rid Of Prosecutor Who Refused To Charge Tamir Rice Shooter

CREDIT: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The prosecutor who stalled the investigation of Tamir Rice’s shooting, fought against charging Rice’s killer, and launched a smear campaign against Rice’s mother was just ousted. Following years of controversy and calls for his resignation, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty lost to challenger Mike O’Malley on Tuesday night.

McGinty conceded defeat around midnight, when O’Malley had 55 percent of the votes.

“I wish him nothing but the best,” McGinty said. “I love the Prosecutor’s Office, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished and of all the outstanding dedicated professionals who work there.”

McGinty has been the subject of public outrage for many years, but his response to the Rice shooting thrust him into the national spotlight in November 2014. After the 12-year-old’s shooting, a state judge found probable cause to charge Officer Timothy Loehmann, who gunned down Rice within two seconds of exiting his police car. McGinty ignored that assessment and hired two biased experts to review the shooting — both of whom concluded the shooting was reasonable. He also passed the case to a grand jury within two days, but waited roughly one year to release the sheriff’s investigation to the jurors.

During the investigation, McGinty also said that, in her attempt to seek justice for her son, Rice’s mother was actually driven by “economic motives.

McGinty explained the eventual decision not to charge Officer Timothy Loehmann by saying he refused to “second-guess police officers.” In Rice’s case, that meant giving absolute deference to one of the most violent police forces in the country. After a thorough investigation of the Cleveland Police Department, the Department of Justice concluded that the city’s officers “too often use unnecessary and unreasonable force in violation of the Constitution.”

McGinty wasn’t the only prosecutor embroiled in controversy to lose a job Tuesday night.

Thanks in large part to Black Lives Matter organizing, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was also booted from office in Illinois. Alvarez, who waited more than a year to charge the officer who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times, was well known for covering up police brutality and dooming children for life.