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Ohio Judge Recommends Police Face Charges in Rice Case

  • Reuters

FILE - Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer, speaks during a news conference, March 3, 2015, in Cleveland.

FILE - Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer, speaks during a news conference, March 3, 2015, in Cleveland.

A Cleveland judge on Thursday found probable cause that police officers involved in the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy who was holding a replica gun should face charges, but the opinion is advisory only and the decision is up to prosecutors.

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine issued the opinion that officer Timothy Loehmann, who shot Tamir Rice last year, and his partner Frank Garmback should both face charges of negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.

Adrine also found probable cause that Loehmann should face charges for murder, involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.

"This court is mindful that despite any conclusions it draws from the evidence... its role here is advisory in nature," Adrine wrote.

The ruling came days after a group of local clergy and activists filed affidavits requesting action from the court in the death of Rice.

Tamir E. Rice, 12, is seen allegedly pointing a pellet gun at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in a still image from video released by the Cleveland Police Department Nov. 26, 2014.

Tamir E. Rice, 12, is seen allegedly pointing a pellet gun at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in a still image from video released by the Cleveland Police Department Nov. 26, 2014.

The death of Rice, who was black, was one of several recent incidents that have focused national attention on the treatment of minorities by law enforcement.

The officers involved in Rice's death were white.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.

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