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Cleveland judge finds probable cause for charges against police officers in death of Tamir Rice

Cleveland municipal court judge Ronald B. Adrine announced on Thursday that he has found probable cause for charges of murder, manslaughter, and reckless homicide against police officer Timothy Loehmann in the November 2014 killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Cleveland.com reports. Adrine additionally found probable cause for charges of negligent homicide or dereliction of duty against Loehmann's fellow officer Frank Garmback.

The New York Times notes that the opinion came after direct petitions to the court were filed by local activists, who pointed to a lagging official response. However, what weight Thursday's decision actually carries is unclear: While Adrine ordered that a complaint be filed by the City of Cleveland's prosecutor, he added that he had no power to issue arrest warrants without action by the prosecutor.

Loehmann and Garmback drove up to Rice, who had been playing with a toy replica gun near the Cudell Recreation Center, on November 22. Surveillance footage of the incident shows Loehmann get out of his squad car and immediately shoot Rice. The officers then stand for several minutes over the boy before administering first aid.