By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and the Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog. Tel: 216-659-0473. Email: email@example.com. Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under six different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).
|Rice family attorney Subodh Chandra|
CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND, Ohio — Experts commissioned by the attorneys for the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice relative to proceedings before a Cuyahoga County grand jury that will decide if two White overzealous Cleveland cops involved in the Black child's shooting death last November will be indicted on criminal charges say the controversial shooting was excessive force, and is unjustifiable. And they want to testify before the grand jury, Rice's attorneys said in a letter on Friday to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty.
|Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, who is up for reelection in 2016|
Experts Roger Clark of Santa Fe Springs, California and Jeffrey J. Noble, a former deputy police chief of the Westminister Police Department in Irving, California, were hired by the legal team representing the Rice family who also represent the family in a pending wrongful death lawsuit, namely Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra, and the New York-based law firm of Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady.
"We think it is important that the grand jury be given the opportunity to consider the testimony and findings of true experts to explain why this killing was unjustified," attorneys for the Rice family say in the letter to McGinty.
Chandra ran unsuccessfully for county prosecutor against McGinty in 2012 in the Democratic primary but lost to the then popular McGinty in a crowded field.
|Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, the three-term Black|
mayor of the largely Black major American city
Chandra, an American-Indian, is a former assistant federal prosecutor for the northern district of Ohio and a law director under former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell, whom three-term Black Mayor Frank Jackson, then the city council president, ousted in 2005.
The first-of-their-kind expert reports, which were publicly released by Chandra on Saturday, are in stark contrast to expert reports made public earlier this year by the embattled McGinty, who is White and under fire by greater Cleveland community activists, clergy, and some and Black leaders that want him to recuse himself from further involvement in the county grand jury investigation, and to resign as county prosecutor.
The telling Rice family expert reports, which followed an alleged review of a mountain of data in the case, say in relevant part that the tragic police killing was due in part to poor decisions by the two police officers at issue, a gross lack of training, and systemic failures in the city's largely White police department.
|U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the|
nation's first Black female attorney general
Last December the U.S. Department of Justice, an arm of the federal government now led by U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the nation's first Black female attorney general, issued findings of systemic problems in the Cleveland Police department, including findings of illegal excessive force killings, and cruel and unusual punishment against the mentally ill.
An agreed upon court-monitored consent decree for police reforms between the city and the federal government was reached in June.
Rice was gunned down on November 22, 2014 in less than two seconds when police officers Timothy Loehmann, who pulled the trigger, and Frank Garmback, pulled up at a public park and recreation center on the city's west side where he was toting a toy gun, and following a foiled 9-11 call. At issue, in part, is what happened thereafter, police and the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association claiming they shot the Black boy objectively, and Rice family experts and their attorneys saying their actions were excessive, and criminal in nature.
The neglectful anxiousness by which police approached and pursued the boy put their own lives at risk and was arbitrary and capricious, and motivated also by a gross lack of training, and incompetence that allegedly contributed to Tamir's untimely death, the experts say.
McGinty has not said either publicly or in writing whether he will present the expert reports submitted from the Rice family attorneys to the county grand jury for assessment.
The Rice family attorneys and their experts say that the suggestion that the county prosecutor can alone pick and choose relevant data for submission to the grand jury raises serious questions about the constitutionality of the grand jury process, particularly as it relates to Black people, who are disproportionately charged, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned in Ohio, an across the nation.
Police get to testify before Cuyahoga County grand juries if they are accused of felony crimes per an office policy of McGinty, who also has a policy where Blacks, unlike killer cops, can continue to be charged in a preliminary fashion for alleged felony crimes at the municipal level, and before a grand jury convenes, a stance that Black elected officials refuse to address that is contrary to state law, and other authorities.
McGinty stacked the deck for police with prejudicial reports from his handpicked experts, say community activists and Rice's attorneys, as well as the newly commissioned experts for the Rice family.