A judge said today that enough evidence exists to charge two white policemen in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland—a move the AP calls a "largely symbolic" ruling because he can't compel prosecutors to charge them. Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine ruled there's probable cause to charge rookie officer Timothy Loehmann with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, or dereliction of duty in the November shooting death of Tamir, who was killed while holding a pellet gun outside a recreation center. And he ruled there's evidence to charge Loehmann's partner, Frank Garmback, with reckless homicide or dereliction of duty.
The judge made his ruling after a group of activists submitted affidavits asking the court to charge the officers, and he forward his opinion to city prosecutors and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, reports Cleveland.com. The county sheriff's department recently completed its investigation and gave its file to the county prosecutor, whose staff is reviewing the case while preparing to take it to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges should be filed. (More Cleveland stories.)