The grand jury that decided not to indict two Cleveland police officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice didn’t even vote on their decision.
According to documents released by the prosecutor’s office, the panel decided that Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback were justified in their use of force and that rookie officer Loehmann “had reason to fear for his life” because Rice grabbed a pellet gun from his waist, reports the Daily News.
The news that a decision was reached without even holding a vote has hit Rice’s family hard, and in a recent statement, they said that it shows “yet another example of the disturbing and troubling way the grand jury process has been handled by the local prosecutor.”
“By ‘no indictment,’ we understood that to mean that there was a vote,” Rice family attorney Earl Ward told the Daily News. “If there was no vote, then we’ve all been bamboozled.”
Ward added, “We’ve always thought that this was some sort of a charade. If there was no vote, then it just confirms that.”
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Joe Frolik said that grand juries sometimes decide to return decisions without a vote: “This was kind of their role. Sometimes, a grand jury, after its investigation, will decide if there are no votes to be taken on charges.”