The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday it will not file federal criminal charges against the policeman who killed then 12 year-old Tamir Rice.
In a statement today, the DoJ said it had closed its investigation of the 22 November 2014 shooting by Cleveland police of the African American Tamir Rice,who would have become 18 this year.
Timothy Loehmann, a Cleveland police rookie, shot Rice as he played in a playground with a toy gun that fired pellets.
The killing was one of a string of killings that fuelled protests against the use of deadly force by U.S. police, particularly against minorities.
A review by retired FBI agent Kimberly Crawford found that Rice’s death was justified and Loehmann’s “response was a reasonable one”.
But a lawsuit brought against the city of Cleveland by Rice’s family was subsequently settled for $6 million.
In the aftermath of the shooting it was revealed that Loehmann, in his previous job as a police officer in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, Ohio, had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty.
Loehmann did not disclose this fact on his application to join the Cleveland police, and the Cleveland police never reviewed his previous personnel file before hiring him.
In 2017, following an investigation, Loehmann was fired for withholding this information on his application.
The incident received both national and international coverage, and it occurred on the heels of several other high-profile shootings of African-American males by police officers.