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Justice Dept. declines charges against officers in 2014 fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, closing federal probe

Tamir Rice
Tamir E. Rice. boy who was fatally shot by Cleveland Police officers.

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Justice Department says it cannot bring federal criminal charges against two Cleveland, Ohio, police officers for the 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, whose death became a national symbol in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tamir was playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center in Cleveland on Nov. 22, 2014, when he was shot and killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann, who is white, seconds after Loehmann and his partner arrived at the scene.

The burden of proof in federal civil rights cases involving police officers is very high. Prosecutors must prove that an officer’s actions willfully broke the law rather than being the result of a mistake, negligence or bad judgment.

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