According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the grand jury tha chose not to indict Cleveland Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback in the shooting death of Tamir Rice never actualy took a vote not to indict the officers is causing a stir in what could be one of the most important finds in the police related deaths of young Black males.
When a typical grand jury hearing in the state of Ohio is over, there are only two possible outcomes that could occur following a vote; a “true bill,” which results in criminal charges and a case number in the court system or a “no bill,” which is a decision not to bring charges. A “no-bill notification” is signed and stamped and kept on record at the county clerk’s office.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty never clearly stated the grand jury voted not to indict nor did he say the words “no bill” in his December 28, 2015 press conference. McGinty simply said that that grand jury had declined to indict.
After confirming on Jan. 15 that there was not a “no-bill notification” on file at the county clerk’s office for the Tamir Rice’s grand jury proceedings, local Cleveland publication Scene Magazine made a request for the document officially proving the decision.
Scene was told that it didn’t exist. Employees at both the clerk’s and prosecutor’s officers were unable to explain the lack of paperwork.
Joe Frolik, the communications director for the Prosecutor’s Office that said that no “no-bill” record exists, stated, “it’s technically not a no-bill, because they didn’t vote on charges.”
How that decision was reached and the location of any record of that decision currently remains publicly unaccounted for.