The Cleveland grand jury has been conducting its work in private, investigating the police shooting of a 12-year-old boy named Tamir Rice that set off protests nationwide. But a steady stream of evidence has been trickling out to the public.
There was a sheriff’s report that said the rookie officer who killed Tamir felt he had “no choice” because the boy had reached for a pellet gun that looked like a real pistol. There were statements from the officer, Timothy Loehmann, and his partner that they saw the boy pulling the toy from his pants, ignoring warnings to show his hands. And there were reports from three experts called by the prosecutors that concluded that Officer Loehmann had acted reasonably because he believed that Tamir had a real gun and posed a serious threat.
The release of so much material being reviewed by a working grand jury might be considered unusual, but these were not leaks: The evidence was made public by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor himself, Timothy J. McGinty.