Tamir Rice And The Grand Jury Scam

Following the grand jury’s return of no true bill in Ferguson, Missouri, cries rang out that this proved Police Officer Darren Wilson was innocent of murdering Michael Brown.  This was ignorance at its worst.  It’s not that it proved the opposite. It didn’t. But it also didn’t prove that Wilson didn’t commit murder, because the proceeding was a sham.  As was the grand jury proceeding in the murder of Eric Garner.

Had St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, and Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan, wanted indictments, they would have gotten them within hours of the murders.  They didn’t, and used the grand jury as cover to conceal their goal, to create the appearance of exoneration of cops in a manner that would deflect responsibility from them while appeasing the public’s desire for some sort of law-ish justification. They played off the public’s utter stupidity and ignorance of the grand jury process and got away with it.

The case against about Timothy Loehmann, the cop who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice, is in the process of being presented to a Cuyahoga County grand jury under the auspices of District Attorney Tim McGinty. For all the public pretense of how he’s trying to be thorough and fair, because the public has no clue that a presentment to the grand jury isn’t a trial, isn’t meant to be fair, but only to show whether enough one-sided evidence exists to get to trial where fairness is supposed to happen, people eat up this rhetoric.

Lawyers for the Rice family see what’s coming, and they’re trying to prevent the inevitable outcome of people embracing the certainty that the grand jury’s return of no true bill in Loehmann’s case shows that this unfortunate murder just couldn’t be helped, and that once again, the police are being scapegoated for something no reasonable cop could prevent.

Lawyers for the family of Tamir Rice on Tuesday asked the U.S. Justice Department to launch an independent investigation into the boy’s 2014 killing by a Cleveland police officer.

A series of “anomalies and biased practices” by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty’s office was punctuated last week when prosecutors presenting the case to a grand jury smirked, mocked and pointed a toy gun in the face of two police experts the Rice family hired, attorneys Jeff Abady, Earl Ward and Zoe Salzman wrote in the letter made public Tuesday morning.

While grand jury proceedings are putatively secret, the family’s expert spilled the beans, and the lawyers’ letter spells out in detail what happened behind closed doors.

Tamir Rice GJ

That they have sent this to the DoJ is troubling, as it’s not like the feds are any less sympathetic to their own agents doing the dirty, but they have no one else to go to.  It may well be that they just want to get this information out to the public, ahead of the curve.  After the grand jury refuses to indict, it will get buried in the cries that this proves Loehmann did nothing wrong when it proves nothing of the sort.

For the unwary, this is not how the grand jury is supposed to work. Not at all. Not even close.  The decision to present a case to a grand jury belongs exclusively to the prosecution, and by presenting the case, they tacitly assert that they believe an indictment to be proper. So, they present the evidence that supports their belief.  If they do not believe the target of the grand jury to have committed the crime for which they seek an indictment, the duty is to not present the case and take the responsibility for their decision.

McGinty doesn’t want an indictment. McGinty is too much of a coward to take the responsibility of his office to say so, and instead is engaging in a grand jury charade to soothe the public’s anger about the murder of Tamir Rice while assuring the desired outcome.  And as this description of what happened in the grand jury shows, the prosecution is making damn sure that there will be no indictment.

This shouldn’t happen. Prosecutors do not attack, ridicule, smirk at and mock their own witnesses, except when they are doing everything possible to guarantee the result of no true bill.  And they are doing this solely to pretend, after the grand jury refuses to indict, that they’ve been fabulously fair. It’s a lie.  The difference this time is that we know of the lie before the outcome.  We’ve got the details in hand.

This is a travesty, a farce, a joke, and yet it allows McGinty to call a press conference to extol what a wonderfully fair guy he is and how he has no choice but to respect the grand jury’s decision.  A decision that he did everything humanly possible to guarantee would result.

Had McGinty played it straight, assuming he was willing to suffer the outside potential of an indictment of former Police Officer Timothy Loehmann, there remains a near-certainty that the grand jury would still return no true bill.  The law is so ridiculously favorable to a cop as to make the outcome a near-fait accompli.  But McGinty, clearly, isn’t taking any chances.

When the Cuyahoga grand jury returns no true bill in the murder of Tamir Rice, there should be absolutely no surprise.  It will be exactly what McGinty intended to accomplish from the outset, and just as a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, so too can he guarantee that no indictment is returned.  And McGinty, too cowardly to just announce that he has no intention of trying a murder case against Loehmann, is doing everything possible to make sure that his desired outcome is achieved.

The difference this time, as opposed to Micheal Brown and Eric Garner, is that the Rice family lawyers know, with certainty, what will come of this grand jury presentment, and are doing what they can to reveal it before it happens.  Whether the feds will take it up, or give a damn, remains to be seen, but at the very least, the public should be aware that this is nothing more than a sham, a charade, a show put on for its benefit. And that’s all it is.

When no indictment is returned, it doesn’t mean that Loehmann committed no crime, but that McGinty achieved the result he desired.  Prosecutors almost always get what they want from a grand jury, whether it’s an indictment or no true bill. The only question is how long the public will indulge in its willful ignorance of this reality.

 

25 comments on “Tamir Rice And The Grand Jury Scam

  1. PR

    How does this square with the rules of professional conduct? I’m sure their argument would be they are simply presenting all the facts to get to the “truth” but a prosecutor’s client isn’t the defendant, its the state. They have a duty to their client to zealously represent them, not piss away a case.

  2. bmaz

    When this GJ started, I asked “Is McGinty running a McCulloch”? Answer has been clear from the start when the damn thing wasn’t over in a day.

    1. SHG Post author

      Sure, we understood that if it took more than an hour, it was a sham. But the public doesn’t get that. Maybe now, it will, before the no true bill this time.

  3. losingtrader

    So, in this case, does the prosecutor seek a non- kosher, non -halal grand jury to ensure the ham sandwich doesn’t get indicted?

  4. Cristian

    Gotta love how McGinty obfuscates the grand jury process further with his response to the letter — he might as well have been talking about him:

    “These plaintiffs attorneys have spent months trying to inflame the media and the public with repeated, often inaccurate statements lobbying for their desired outcome. As prosecutors, we are not permitted to discuss the testimony given to any Grand Jury. This means the news media can receive a one-sided version of the story from lawyers who were not there. Any witness who appears before any Grand Jury is treated with respect but should expect thorough questioning from prosecutors and the grand jurors themselves.”

    Also: “Plaintiffs’ attorneys,” which McGinty apparently thinks is a put-down.

    1. SHG Post author

      But witnesses are treated with respect. McGinty said so. Then again, I wonder how thoroughly that arresting officer is questioned when he does the ten minute hearsay Q&A for some non-cop perp’s murder indictment. I suspect thorough doesn’t mean quite the same thing.

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  7. JAV

    And now for certain, no indictment. Now, among other things, all it takes to be legally shot by the police is to look too old on the playground, and lack the ability to surrender within 2 seconds. Is there any reason to believe that there are any civil rights issues that could be determined through the DoJ investigation?

  8. barb in ohio

    The comment on the other post about this case was we all had guns and played with them daily and no one thought anything about it. What has happened ? Well since the good old days a lot has occurred. Columbine, In addition to the shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices, and bombs rigged in cars. All prepared and carried out by 2 teenagers. We had Sandyhook, Virgina teck and so many more. Literally hundreds of dead and wounded children shot by other kids or young people for no reason while in safe classrooms in safe Cities. Shooters who seemed quiet, non violent and unnoticed. We have had the Theaters shooting, mall shooting and many child murders acting out their killings with out reason or notice. We now have graphic , violent movies, television shows showing realistic thrill killing and graphically violent video games with killing cops, woman and others as their theme. We now have 12 year olds who practice the “new kiss goodnight” and think it’s “no big deal.” We have sexually active 11 and 12 year old kids and tween oral sex parties.(when I was 12 I played with Barbie dolls) We have had 911 and the recent California mass shootings. We now have airport security we never dreamed of when I was a kid, and court house and public buildings scanners for everyone.We also were able to trick or treated at dark and later with out adults along which we all know is not safe anymore. In Cleveland Oh in 3 weeks in Nov this year there were 5 babies and children killed in drive by shootings in separate incidents . Some in car seats at stop signs with their parent. Violence is everywhere and is perpetrated on anyone.
    A lot has changed since we played with our toy guns out in our yards when we were kids. We must not ignore these facts.
    When I was a child I was taught to respect law enforcement. If I had called a policeman a “pig” I would have been punished. If a policeman told me to stand up I stood up quickly with out question or resistance. Our world has changed in many ways since the “good old days” We need to make sure we are aware and our children are aware of these changes. Just like we teach them to be weary of strangers, not to trick or treat alone or all the other” new rules” we have to keep them safe in our world today we need to teach them to keep them safe.
    Many of the recent tragedies involving law enforcement lately may have been prevented if the victim would have just done as directed when directed and not fought or refused. If wrongfully detained or arrested a lawsuit could have been filed after the fact.
    I suggest you walk in their shoes for a few days and you may see just what they are confronted by everyday.
    This is a tragedy and no one disagrees. The facts are someone called 911 saying a person was flashing a gun around and pointing it at people. Walking down the sidewalk in a public area. The person by all accounts did not appear to be a 12 year old but was rather a 180 lb 5’7 “young man or juvenile”.
    Ohio CC laws stipulate you may not brandish a weapon at any time. So while you may own and carry a gun you can not flash it around at people. There are many people sitting in prison today for armed robbery who used fake guns to commit the crime. It is not that the gun is fake but that a person felt it was real that got the armed robbery charge. If Tamir walked into a store with that same toy gun he could have been killed by the clerk or accused of armed robbery. The orange piece showing it was a toy had been removed by someone to make it look more real. His friend warned him about the gun. This 12 year old boy carried it openly and flashed it around at people who walked by him, he was pretending it was real. Anyone could have killed this child that day. I am not defending the outcome as I said it was a tragedy. Tamir did not realize the danger of his actions that day. Yet his actions were a strong contributing factor in the events that day.
    Our law enforcement does not wake up every morning hoping to find a person to kill. They fight hard to prevent deaths and at times are confronted with situations that require snap decisions. They are human not robots. They are flawed as we all are. No good man sleeps peacefully at night after taking the life of another person, especially a child.
    They do not “sign up” to die they “sign up” to protect and serve. No pension or benefit is worth their life to their families. in 2015 126 police officers died in the line of duty. 116 men and 10 woman. My daughter is a police officer and my brother is a deputy. Neither one “signed up” to put their life at risk. They “signed up” to hopefully save or protect yours and mine. Most officers who are killed in the line of duty are killed by people that seem to present no real immediate threat. People who catch them off guard. As we watch the video of this tragedy I suggest we also watch the dozens of cruiser cam videos of innocent officers brutally and senselessly killed in the line of duty by average appearing people who are doing nothing to indicate that they would in a moments notice become murders with out any provocation.

    .

      1. Patrick Maupin

        It may be too much to ask for the shill to understand spelling and grammar, but could you at least find one who knows where the return key is?

    1. DaveL

      What a load of rubbish. We’re supposed to be OK with police shooting twelve year-olds playing with toy guns on the playground because of Columbine? That’s absurd. It’s not as if school shootings are anything new. A quick glance at Wikipedia will tell you that much.

      We now have graphic , violent movies, television shows showing realistic thrill killing and graphically violent video games with killing cops, woman and others as their theme. We now have 12 year olds who practice the “new kiss goodnight” and think it’s “no big deal.””

      Do you know what a “moral panic” is? These are prime examples. It’s a form of mass hysteria, an overreaction to a perceived crisis that isn’t really there. What is really there? A historically low rate of violent crime, despite this supposed plague of media violence, and for decades the median age of first sex has been stable if not trending slightly upwards. It would be the height of stupidity to allow one absurdity to justify another.

      We now have airport security we never dreamed of when I was a kid, and court house and public buildings scanners for everyone.

      Do you know what “security theater” is? Again, these are prime examples. Were you aware that internal audits of the TSA found they miss attempts to bring weapons and other contraband on board about 97% of the time? Were you aware they have caught precisely zero terrorists with these screenings?
      What is new? An unprecedented level of safety among police officers. Again, one absurdity does not justify another.

      They do not “sign up” to die they “sign up” to protect and serve. No pension or benefit is worth their life to their families. in 2015 126 police officers died in the line of duty. 116 men and 10 woman.

      Reality check: of that 126, about 53 were feloniously killed, the rest were things like heart attacks and motor vehicle accidents. If we accept the FBI statistics on police numbers, that’s 8.45 per 100k, a rate only slightly higher than a group with the same sex ratio randomly selected from the US population. It’s rather lower than the homicide victimization rate among black men. We live today in what is historically the safest era to be a police officer, ever.

      As we watch the video of this tragedy I suggest we also watch the dozens of cruiser cam videos of innocent officers brutally and senselessly killed in the line of duty by average appearing people who are doing nothing to indicate that they would in a moments notice become murders with out any provocation.

      Police are not alone in having to endure the possibility of being murdered by unpredictable criminals without provocation. Indeed, as we’ve seen above, they’re not even particularly special in that regard. Certainly ordinary civilians are entitled to protect themselves from genuine threats just as much as the police are, yet somehow we don’t see them gunning down a lot of 12 year-olds and being deemed justified for it because they had a toy gun in their waistband.

    2. Patrick Maupin

      Neither one “signed up” to put their life at risk. They “signed up” to hopefully save or protect yours and mine.

      What about Tamir’s?

      Most officers who are killed in the line of duty are killed by people that seem to present no real immediate threat.

      Couple that with the First Rule, and you have a “kill or be killed” mentality. Add to that the fact we never punish police and it’s no wonder that some of them kill early and often.

    3. Teigan

      Well stated, but may not be well received by those of the mindset that everyone must agree with their opinions.

      1. SHG Post author

        To stupid people, the dividing line is agreement or disagreement, “mindset” as you’ve called it. To thoughtful people, it’s the stupidity of the argument, regardless of whether it’s for or against. Barb is a shill arguing the cop union talking point, all of which pander to the stupid, which explains your approval, by promoting irrelevant and illogical points that detract from any intelligent understanding of the case.

        But then, stupid people gonna stupid, so that can’t be helped. Barb knows better, which is why she was just a lying shill doing what she could to make people stupider for the purpose of calming the anger. You, on the other hand, have no excuse.

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  10. barb in ohio

    The “shill” is simply a person with an opposing opinion on SOME of the causes and effects of this tragedy. I do see that to have one’s own opinion differing from the “group” is unaccepted here. Yet I believe it is or should be as accepted and cherished as the air we breath… as the constitution.

    As stated I believe the events of that day have many facets and the responsibility drops in the laps of all involved and is far reaching. With out any one of the events/actions this would never have occurred. Sad a child who knew no better was the ultimate cost. A young life was lost and many lives are ruined forever.

    1. SHG Post author

      The shill is the asshole with a prepared script who shows up here for the first time just as the cops need a help digging them out of the shithole they caused by another needless murder because of the toxic combination of bullshit and cowardice, uses a pseudonym, and posts the moronic cop apologia designed to pacify the ignorant.

      You, Barb, are today’s asshole, but you don’t get to continue to spew your bullshit on my dime.

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