UPDATE, 12:15 p.m. EDT: Speaking at a news conference Tuesday morning, a group of Cleveland community leaders said there was a two-tiered justice system that targeted black men while catering to police officers.
"There is no way, in a fair and equal justice system, that those men who killed Tamir Rice -- a boy -- and watched him bleed to death can escape justice without at least being charged," said Julia Shearson, the executive director of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We are just asking that they be charged and brought before the people."
— Tom Beres (@TomBeres) June 9, 2015
In addition to Shearson, Colvin and Williams, supporters Tuesday included criminal justice consultatnt Edward Little, Children's Defense Fund organizer Joseph Worthy, "Hip-Hop Generation" author Bakari Kitwana, Word Church pastor R. A. Vernon and activist Rachelle Smith. Michael Nelson, criminal justice chairman of the NAACP, also appeared at the news conference.
Madison, the lawyer for the Rice family, said the group was asking for charges of aggravated murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty. Read the 137-page court filing here.
Original story: Several Cleveland community leaders were scheduled to give a news conference Tuesday morning to announce their plans to ask a local judge to charge the officers involved with last year's fatal shooting of a 12-year-old. Tired of prosecutors' inaction, they were expected to "[take] matters into their own hands" and file citizens' affidavits with the Cleveland Municipal Court requesting arrest warrants for the police officers involved in the November incident that killed Tamir Rice, who was unarmed and black, CNN reported.
"We are still waiting for the criminal justice system to enact justice in the name of Tamir Rice. It has been more than six months since his tragic death and, yet, the people still have no answers and no one has been held accountable," the Rev. Jawanza Colvin, of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, said in a news release. He was working with Case Western Reserve University professor Rhonda Williams and others on the affidavits.
Police officers were called Nov. 22 to Cleveland's Cudell Recreation Center after a 911 caller reported a male sitting on swings pointing a "probably fake" gun at people. Within seconds of arriving at the scene, Officer Timothy Loehmann got out of his car and fired shots at Tamir, who had been holding a pellet gun. Tamir died a day later.
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department gave prosecutors the results from their investigation into the shooting last week. Lohemann and his partner, Frank Garmack, have been on administrative leave since November.
Colvin, Williams and others want to see results sooner. They hope to use a 1960 law to ask a judge for arrest warrants based on probable cause. They'll file six affidavits detailing the officers' alleged crimes. “Here we are taking some control of the process as citizens,” Rice family attorney Walter Madison told the New York Times. “We are going to participate without even changing the law.”