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Community Will Go Directly To Court For Charges In Tamir Rice Case

A distrust of the system and an obscure law in Ohio is enabling community members to take direct legal action.

Thanks to a law in Ohio permitting community members to go straight to a judge and level charges, this is happening:

Rather than wait for the county prosecutor's office to present evidence of the shooting to a grand jury -- a process that could take weeks -- the group plans to use an obscure state law that allows anyone with knowledge of the facts of a case to formally ask a judge to issue an arrest warrant, according to the New York Times.

The group is seeking charges including aggravated murder and manslaughter.

"Here we are taking some control of the process as citizens," Tamir's family's attorney, Walter Madison, told The New York Times. "We are going to participate without even changing the law."

The move comes days after the sheriff's department completed the investigation into the Nov. 22 shooting outside Cudell Recreation Center, when officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir less than two seconds after his partner Frank Garmback pulled up a cruiser to a gazebo beside the boy.

Police officials said the boy ignored orders and officers believed the boy was reaching for his waistband, where what turned out to be an airsoft-type gun was tucked.

Surveillance cameras outside the recreation center recorded the shooting.

"We have the video, and having witnessed it, you can see that it took two seconds for the officers to shoot a 12-year-old boy who showed no malicious intent or aggressive behavior. There is certainly reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed," The Rev. Jawanza K. Colvin, of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, told The New York Times.

Good for them. Hopefully their lawyers are top-flight, because they're still fighting a judiciary whose default position is that police acted properly.


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