Timothy McGinty, who is prosecuting the Ohio officer charged with the murder of 12-year old Tamir Rice, is accusing the Rice family of having “economic motivations” in their pursuit of justice. In October, reports were released which more or less determined that Officer Timothy Loehmann was justified in gunning Rice down. Earlier this week, McGinty commented on the reports, saying:
They waited until they didn’t like the reports they received. They’re very interesting people, let me just leave it at that, and they have their own economic motives.
This is absurd, and as Think Progress notes, calls into question McGinty’s objectivity. Rice’s mother, Samaria, is rightfully angry. There is no justification for shooting an unarmed 12-year old, and there is no justification for accusing a grieving family of going after money instead of justice.
We have to wonder whether McGinty is even able to go ahead with this case properly in light of these comments. If he sincerely believes that Rice’s family only wants money, then there’s a solid chance he’s going to recommend the jury not indict Loehmann. If this does go to trial, it’s possible that he’d give it a half-a**ed effort, if that.
The Rices’ attorney, Subodh Chandra, is understandably appalled by McGinty’s comments, and worried that he’s compromised the grand jury’s proceedings. Think Progress reports that he said:
Ms. Rice herself believes that the prosecutor has compromised the grand-jury process’s fairness by soliciting and personally vouching for so-called “experts” with discreditable backgrounds who (1) assumed the existence of non-existent testimony (the officers’ excuses for their actions), and (2) ignored critical evidence (such as Officer Loehmann shooting Tamir immediately and both officers leaving 12-year-old Tamir bleeding and dying on the ground without administering first aid).
He also said:
It’s a shock and a surprise to Samaria Rice and her family that the prosecutor would go out of his way to insult her and her motives in trying to get justice as a grieving mother.
The reports that McGinty referred to are reports that the grand jury is supposed to review, meaning they weren’t supposed to be released yet. According to WKYC, McGinty claims the leak didn’t come from his office, and that he doesn’t know where it came from. When he was asked why the press is seeing information the grand jury has seen, if he can’t comment on active investigations, he said, “Because you’re hanging around the grand jury.”
In addition to showing partiality towards an officer he’s supposed to be investigating, he’s blaming the media for an information leak, instead of whoever it is that leaked it.
WKYC updated their story with a new statement from McGinty’s office, which read:
The response was not about Ms. Rice. We have never once criticized Tamir’s mother or questioned her right to grieve in any way. We have met with her repeatedly and cooperated with her in every possible manner. And we will continue to do so.
Right, and winter is the warmest season of the year. Exactly how is everyone supposed to interpret, “They’re very interesting people and they have their own economic motives,” then? This case needs a special prosecutor because it’s crystal clear that McGinty can’t be trusted to do his job properly.
Watch McGinty’s comments below, via WKYC in Cleveland:
Image via screen capture from embedded video