Protests After Cleveland Police Timothy Loehmann, Frank Garmback Cleared By Grand Jury In Tamir Rice Shooting

Scott Hough

Protesters staged demonstrations in Cleveland, Memphis, New York City, and Burlington, Vermont, last night after it was announced that Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback would be cleared of any wrongdoing in the 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, as reported by Cleveland.com and WKYC.

Rice was playing in a playground, waving around a toy gun in November 2014, when a passerby noticed, became concerned, and called the police. There was a reported breakdown in communication between the citizen who made the call, the dispatcher, and the police officers. The caller was said to have informed the dispatcher that the person with the gun may have been a child and that the gun may have been a replica, but that they weren't sure.

The Cleveland protesters were said to march down the middle of the street, along West Boulevard, Lorain Avenue, and West 130th Street, in peaceful demonstrations. Stuffed animals, coloring books, and at least one wrapped Christmas present were said to have been left by friends and supporters of the Rice family at the gazebo in the Cuddell Commons where Tamir was shot.

"Hey, Hey, ho, ho, these killer cops have got to go," the marchers chanted, along with, "If we march today, maybe a kid doesn't die tomorrow."

"If you're that scared of a 12-year-old, don't be a cop," one protester identified as Terry Tolefree was said to have berated police.

A local resident was reported to have appeared, spewing a tirade of obscenities at the demonstrators, seemingly displeased with their presence and saying that he "lives there." It was reported that some members of the group assembled to grieve the loss of the 12-year-old shot by police stated to the man that they "lived there too." A police officer was said to have escorted the resident away from the scene.

Another member of the group was said to have served hot chocolate and chili to participants and announced a follow-up demonstration this coming Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Justice Center on "East 55th Street at Union Avenue."

"Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police," Tim McGinty the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor was quoted with regard to Loehmann, Garback, and the police dispatchers involved with the response to Tamir Rice.

Frank Garmback's lawyer, Michael P. Maloney, issued a statement with regard to the grand jury's ruling, as reported by WKYC.

"It is quite clear that Officers Garmback and Loehmann acted within the bounds of the law. The grand jury's decision was the correct decision. It was also the only decision that it could legally and properly reach."

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