Columbus—Today, Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) released the following statement on the grand jury decision in the case of Timothy Loehmann

It is with great sorrow that I have received the news that Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann has not been indicted by the grand jury. Just over a year ago we lost a young man, Tamir Rice, at the hands of those sworn to protect our city. My prayers go out to the Rice family as they grapple with this news and as they try to find peace and healing despite this grave miscarriage of justice.

The tragedy of the Tamir Rice incident has struck a chord with the public concerning police use of force and the process in-which these incidents are reviewed. Senator Williams’ will be introducing legislation that will address some of the public’s concerns with the review process for law enforcement involved shooting cases. This legislation will take the responsibility of indicting officer, involved in the death of an unarmed suspect, away from local County Prosecutors and would instead allow for the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor in these unique cases. This practice is already in effect in the State of New York. 

“Even though this is not the outcome many of us would have liked, I plead for all to use this time to be a positive force in the change that is soon to come. Avoid falling into the traps that have hampered progress and the broader movement of social equality. There are clear limitations to our current process when it comes to the prosecution of law enforcement involved shootings. Removing inherit conflict of interest from this process can offer a level of trust and pride that is currently missing from today’s relationship between the police officers and the community they swore to protect.”  

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