Cleveland residents are about to deploy a rare tactic to press for justice in the case of a 12-year-old killed by cops


Cleveland, Ohio residents are invoking an obscure law to bypass prosecutors and ask a judge directly to press charges against officers involved in the deadly shooting of a 12-year-old boy, The New York Times reports.


Community leaders of Cleveland gave The Times copies of six affidavits they plan to file on Tuesday listing the crimes they say occurred, according to The Times. Ohio is one of just a few states that let residents request such charges directly, The Times noted.

The 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, was shot in November when officers saw him holding a gun that turned out to be a toy. Like several other recent high-profile police shootings, the shooting was caught on tape.

Despite that tape, citizens doubt that prosecutors will seek the indictment themselves, The Times noted. The recent precedent has not been great for indictments against officers who kill people. In the case of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after being put in a police chokehold, there was also a disturbing video. But that case did not result in an indictment, let alone a conviction.

The Cleveland residents are trying to avoid that outcome.


"The writing is on the wall," a lawyer for Tamir's family, Walter Madison, told The Times. "If you look at every other instance, it ends up unfavorable to the families."

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