On Monday, an Ohio grand jury declined to file charges against the two officers involved in the tragic shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The decision was overseen by Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty, who also announced the jury's decision. The Rice family expressed their obvious dismay at the ruling, but said in a statement that they believe that McGinty manipulated the grand jury process to absolve officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback. McGinty has consistently maintained that he and his team have made every effort to see justice done.
"Given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes, and communications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police," McGinty explained Monday afternoon. McGinty is often mentioned in connection with Tamir Rice, so who exactly is he? The Cuyahoga County Office of the Prosecutor website describes him thusly:
Timothy J. McGinty is an outspoken advocate for justice in our community, and has been throughout his long career in public service ... Prosecutor McGinty's public service began right after college when he became a county probation officer and continued when he was hired by the late John T. Corrigan to be a Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Over the next 10 years, he advanced swiftly in the office and handled many of its most important and high profile cases, including the 1989 prosecution of Ronnie Shelton, the infamous 'West Side Rapist.'
It goes on to explain that he was named Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association's Prosecutor of the Year in 1992, and that he ran one of the county's most efficient criminal and civil dockets as a Common Pleas Court Judge for 18 years. He became Cuyahoga County Prosecutor in 2011, and believes that "justice is a tangible concept, achievable by running a justice system built on the foundations of fairness, efficiency, transparency, and accountability to victims, taxpayers, and those charged with crimes."
A statement in a letter to the community, regarding the police use of deadly force, states:
Killings by police officers in the line of duty are traumatic events for the family and loved ones of the victim, for the officers involved and for the community at large. That is why I pledged to treat investigations into the use of deadly force by police officers with far more transparency than has been more customary or than the law requires. It is also why I pledged to present every police fatal use of deadly force case to the Grand Jury. That way the final decision on charging in these cases would be made by a panel of citizens who reviewed all the relevant evidence.
In October, when asked at a press conference about the Rice family requesting a special prosecutor instead of himself, McGinty said: "They waited until they didn't like the reports they received. They're very interesting people — let me just leave it at that — and they have their own economic motives." His statement was met with outrage from the community and the Rice family.