A judge has found that there is probable cause to charge the Cleveland, Ohio police officer accused of shooting and killing 12-year-old Tamir Rice with murder, while his partner could be charged with negligent homicide, according to local news reports.
A Cuyahoga County judge found probable cause to charges against Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback in connection with Rice’s death.
Judge Ronald B. Adrine wrote in his judgment entry that there is cause to bring charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty against Loehmann, who shot the preteen while he was playing with an air gun at a recreation center playground in November.
Ardine, a municipal court judge, did not find probable cause for charging either man with aggravated murder, while he wrote that Garmback should not be charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide.
He said that there is probable cause to charge Garmback, who was driving the patrol car, with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.
However, the judge cautioned that his role is “advisory in nature” and that it is up to the “discretion of the City’s prosecuting authority” to file any and all charges, according to WEWS.
Ardine’s opinion comes days after a group of community and civil rights activists used an obscure state law to file affidavits seeking the arrest of the two officers.
Section 2935.09 of the Ohio Code, passed in 1960, allows for a “private citizen having knowledge of the facts who seeks to cause an arrest or prosecution” to “file an affidavit charging the offense committed with a reviewing official for the purpose of review to determine if a complaint should be filed by the prosecuting attorney.” The rule says that the complaint may be filed “in order to cause the arrest or prosecution of a person charged with committing an offense in this state.”
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