A Cleveland grand jury has declined to prosecute two police officers in the fatal November 2014 shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty agreed with the decision not to charge Tim Loehmann and Frank Garmback, saying their actions “were not criminal.”

During his announcement, McGinty said he believed the officers, who shot Rice two seconds after arriving on the scene, “reasonably” feared for their lives because they thought the tween was “much older” due to his size.

McGinty also said surveillance video provided “indisputable” evidence the boy reached for his toy gun at the time of the shooting. However, video released by Cleveland police does not seem to jive with the prosecutor’s account.

During the press conference, McGinty called the event “tragic” and said he also wanted justice for Rice, but “justice does not mean bringing indictments not sustained by the law.”

Loehmann, who fired the fatal shots at Rice, had previously been dismissed from another department after they concluded he did “not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct [his] deficiencies.” It remains to be seen whether he will be allowed back on the streets of Cleveland now that he’s been cleared of any criminal liability.

Rice’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against the city and police department, and the family’s attorneys issued a statement slamming McGinty for “abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment.”

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  • Mary Burrell

    He had such a sweet little baby face he looked like a sweet kid.