If you thought the cops in Cleveland were bad, wait for the prosecutor. After citizens took the case directly to a judge and asked him to determine whether probable cause existed to arrest and charge the officer who shot him, the prosecutor played his hand.
Acting under a rarely used provision of Ohio state law, a judge found probable cause Thursday to charge Cleveland police Officer Timothy Loehmann with murder in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice last year.
Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine also found cause to support negligent homicide charges against Officer Frank Garmback, Loehmann's partner, who is accused of standing by after Loehmann shot Tamir in November at a recreation center, where Tamir was playing with a pellet gun.
The ruling is only advisory and doesn't affect the separate grand jury investigation.
Adrine — saying he wasn't performing an "end around" of the city or the county — stressed that the choice to lodge charges remains with Cuyahoga County and Cleveland prosecutors. In a statement, county prosecutor Timothy McGinty said the grand jury would make any final decision.
Granted, this is a municipal judge and his decision doesn't override the grand jury. But it took him two whole days to come to a decision that probable cause exists. What's the problem with getting the grand jury to deal with it?
The only problem that I can see is a prosecutor dragging his tiny little feet.