Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) called an Ohio grand jury’s decision “controversial” – in deciding not to indict the two officers involved in the shooting death of Tamir Rice.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, the Republican presidential candidate said protesters in Cleveland are “very frustrated… let’s just hope that situation can continue and it can be peaceful.”
On December 28, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shots, and his partner Frank Garmback would not face charges in the 12-year-old’s death.
The November 22, 2014 shooting was captured on a nearby surveillance camera. Rice was carrying an airsoft pellet gun, but it was lacking the orange safety tip that would have indicated it was not a real weapon. McGinty said Officer Loehmann “had reason to fear for his life” and called the shooting a “perfect storm of human events.”
On frustrations in the community, Kasich continued, “That's why we've created a police and community collaborative. You noticed that we have no violence in Cleveland with the second controversial decision. The credit goes to the community leaders, also to the mayor. And the fact is, the people in Cleveland are saying, ‘Well, this is frustrating…we don't want to tear our town down.’”
When pressed on his description of the grand jury decision as “controversial”, Kasich replied, “I don't comment on grand jury decisions. It’s is for the people in Cleveland to decide. But people are on both sides of the issue. You know, they feel very strongly. It's a loss of a 12-year-old life, and of course it's going to be controversial.”
The Justice Department has announced the Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the FBI will continue an independent investigation of the case.