Critical Incident Review Committee finds officers in Tamir Rice case did not violate policy

Posted at 3:07 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 15:07:30-04

The Critical Incident Review Committee has found that the officers involved in the Tamir Rice case did not violate any rules or policies of the Cleveland Division of Police.

It's unclear what significance the findings have on the city's administrative investigation into the officers. 

RELATED: Video statements by officers involved in death of Tamir Rice released: 'I didn't know it was a kid'

The CIRC was created at the request of Mayor Frank Jackson to review all the investigative material collected by the independent law enforcement agencies involved in the case. 

The findings were released Friday by the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association.

The CIRC is comprised of mayoralty appointed Command Staff members, civilians and police officers.

A grand jury refused to file any criminal charges against officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann in 2015 but they are still being investigated by the city's Office of Professional Standards.

City officials have charged Loehmann for failing to provide truthful information on his employment application regarding disciplinary actions, information surrounding his departure from a previous police department and failing a test in May 2013, according to documents released by the city. Loehmann faces six charges, but none are in response to the November 2014 shooting of Rice.

Garmback did not employ proper tactics when he operated the patrol car the day Rice was shot, according to documents related to the administrative investigation. He is also charged with failing to report his arrival time to radio dispatchers immediately upon his arrival to the recreation center. 

After the administrative charges were filed, Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis released this statement:

The CPPA is encouraged that Officer Loehmann has not been charged with any wrongdoing regarding his response to the events of November 22, 2014. There is no question, and there has never been, that the death of Tamir Rice was tragic. Nevertheless, all agree that Officer Loehmann was not wrong in reacting the way he did. It appears that the actual charges are created to discipline him, and perhaps discharge him, despite the fact that he did nothing wrong that day.

It is disappointing that Officer Garmback has been charged with making a tactical error on his approach, when it is apparent that the car slid in the ice and mud well beyond what he intended. Given the speed and gravity of the events on that day, it is hard to imagine that Officer Garmback has been charged with failure to notify the radio dispatcher "immediately."

We are reviewing the charges in detail and will prepare appropriate defenses, as necessary.