As the investigation into the Cleveland police’s shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice continues, community leaders on Tuesday are planning to employ a scarcely used Ohio law to bring murder charges against the officer who killed the child. Ohio is one of a few states where such a law exists, that allows anyone with “knowledge of the facts” of an incident to request a judge file an arrest warrant – without approval from the police or prosecutors. The decision to employ this legal tool comes as activists across the country challenge excessive use of force by police, particularly in communities of color. Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir in November, within two seconds of exiting his police vehicle. He was responding to a 911 call from someone who said that the toy gun Tamir had was “probably fake”, though it is unclear if that information was shared with the officers.
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