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For 2 officers, Jackson promises 'due process'

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Posted at 6:41 PM, Dec 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-29 18:42:04-05

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson declined to comment on the Cuyahoga County grand jury's decision to not indict two city police officers in the controversial shooting death of Tamir Rice.

But the mayor did say the county prosecutor did not go through "due process," but through "a process" before the grand jury handed down its decision.

Jackson met with reporters in City Hall the day after the grand jury decision was announced. In his shirtsleeves and often leaning back in his swivel chair, he spoke at times in philosophical and soft-voiced terms about the tragedy where the life of Tamir ended at the age of 12.

"There's nothing that anybody in this room or I can do which is sufficient enough to deal with grief that a mother has for losing a child," said Jackson. "And we're doing what we can to ensure that nothing like that happens again," he added.

Jackson said there were many voices on all sides of the issue being heard throughout the community. He said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty went through "a process" which led the grand jury to its conclusion.

It was McGinty who earlier recommended to the grand jury that no charges be brought against the two police officers, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback.

Now that it has been decided the two officers will not face criminal charges in the shooting death of Tamir Rice, who had an airsoft replica of a real gun, the question remains if Loehmann and Garmback followed correct police procedures when they drove up on the youngster and Loehmann fired two shots, one of them fatally striking Tamir.

Jackson emphasized the word "due" when he told reporters he has promised "due process" on his administration's part as it examines the actions of Loehmann and Garmback as to whether they were correct in their police procedures.

Again, the mayor returned to the family of the boy who was killed.

"It has nothing to do about the individual, whether rightness or wrongness of the police, or the child, or the family," he said, pausing often as he searched for the next word to utter. "It has nothing do with that; that's what I say. A wrong has been done," said Jackson, his arms spread wide at times to emphasize a point.

"Now whether that wrong is legal or whether it is administrative, the fact is a 12-year-old has lost their life," said Cleveland's chief executive. "It should not have happened."