What was once a rarity has now become increasingly common: police officers facing criminal charges in the deaths of civilians. In Albuquerque, two officers will stand trial in the death of a homeless man. In Cincinnati, a campus police officer has been charged in the fatal shooting of a man during a traffic stop. In Chicago, where a video captured the death of Laquan McDonald at the hands of the police, an officer was charged with murder.
But even as high-profile police shootings have attracted more scrutiny over the past year, one thing remains clear: The law gives the police the benefit of the doubt.
That was the case on Monday, when a grand jury declined to indict two Cleveland police officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
The local prosecutor said the shooting of the boy as he played with a toy gun in a park was tragic but not criminal.