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There’s case law about that, Clark started to explain, opinions that can help define whether force was used appropriately. If you didn’t know him, or don’t know his city, or if you simply are too exhausted to sift one story from all the others, you might vaguely remember him as the kid who got killed in Cleveland during that period, from roughly the summer of 2014 through the spring of 2015, when black people getting killed by police received an unusual amount of national attention.

That he agreed with the decision, and released a 74-page report explaining why, was secondary; a panel of fair-minded citizens, he stressed, had settled the matter.—until all that was left was a mushy insistence that no one was really to blame for a dead kid.

The activists could make all the noise they wanted, but reasonable people would have to agree to disagree.

Since he took office, in January 2013, Mc Ginty has presented, or has promised to present, evidence related to every police killing of a civilian in Cuyahoga County—20 in three years—to a grand jury.

The reason, he repeated after the December non-indictment, was to increase transparency, to “end the traditional system where the prosecutor privately reviewed police reports, then decided if an officer should be charged.

That did not suggest a cop should be second-guessed back to his morning coffee. The grand jury in late December declined to indict either officer involved in killing Tamir, and the city of Cleveland denied anyone did anything wrong when, in April 2016, it agreed to pay his estate, his mother, Samaria, and his sister Tajai $6 million.

Meyer stopped, pivoted, swung his arm up, aimed his fake gun at Clark’s face. The news reports and most of the columns and commentaries that followed those events invariably summarized his death as an awful mistake: Tamir had been playing with a toy gun that the police mistook for a real one when he reached into his waistband, which is why the rookie shot him within seconds of arriving in Cudell park.

Maybe you heard about the Tamir Rice case and wondered: How does a 12-year-old boy with a toy gun on a playground get shot to death on-camera by the police without anyone getting charged?

Put another way: How does a small group of government officials make this case disappear without a trial? The prosecutor pacing in front of the witness was holding a toy gun that looked like a real gun, which was the same kind of toy the boy had been playing with the day he got shot.

“The facial expressions, the body language...disdain,” Clark said.

“Yeah, that’s a good word: The prosecutors reminded Clark, and the grand jurors, that the officers had responded to a 911 call about a black male with a gun in a park—an “active shooter,” they said, though no shots had been fired, there was no one nearby to be shot when police arrived, and the black male turned out to be a 12-year-old boy alone in a gazebo.

He did not believe the officers acted reasonably, and he did not believe the shooting was justified.

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