Community leaders announced Tuesday that they used an obscure law to ask a Cleveland judge to file aggravated murder and manslaughter charges against police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014.
The leaders, wary of a law enforcement system that in recent months declined to prosecute several officers involved in the death of unarmed people around the nation, will invoke a rarely-used Ohio law that allows people to request criminal charges against others.
"We are asking for an arrest," said attorney Walter Madison in front of the Justice Center in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Madison, along with six other community leaders comprised of activists, clergy members, other religious leaders, and criminal justice consultants, filed six affidavits for aggravated murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, voluntary homicide, and neglect of duty.
Julia Shearson, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Cleveland, said Tuesday that 30 percent of the Muslim community in the city is black, which made a cross-section of activism that much more important.
"We are here today because we waited more than six months, and still there is no accountability," she said.
The county prosecutor's office has said it will present evidence to a grand jury in Rice's case, which could take weeks, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Rice was fatally shot in November while he was in a park. Someone called 911 and reported he was playing with a gun that was likely "fake." Video of the incident showed police pull up near Rice, with Officer Timothy Loehman quickly shooting him in the torso. Rice was carrying a toy gun.
Tom Namako is the deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.
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