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Sheriff Sends Tamir Rice Shooting Report to Prosecutor

by The Associated Press and Phil Helsel /  / Updated 

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The investigation into the fatal police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland was turned over Wednesday to prosecutors, who will ask a grand jury to decide whether criminal charges should be filed against the officer.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinckney told The Associated Press that his department conducted an "extensive, thorough and unbiased" investigation into the shooting of Rice outside a recreation center on Nov. 22.

Rice was shot by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann after he and another officer responded to a call about a person who may have a gun. It turned out Rice was carrying what police described as an "airsoft"-style pellet gun that resembled a firearm.

Surveillance video released by police show Loehmann, 26, shooting Rice within seconds after the officers’ police car pulled up next to the boy.

Related: Officer Who Killed Tamir Rice Found Unfit in Previous Police Job

The sheriff's report does not conclude whether the shooting was justified and does not say whether Loehmann should be charged, NBC affiliate WKYC in Cleveland reported Wednesday, citing sources.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office has said the case will be presented to a grand jury, but the timing is not clear. Prosecutors will review the investigation and could request more probing before presenting it to a grand jury, officials have said.

Rice's family has filed a lawsuit against Loehmann and the other officer who was there during the shooting, Frank Garmback. A federal judge ruled on Monday that that suit should be suspended for 60 days.

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