Black voters helped defeat prosecutor in Tamir Rice case
CLEVELAND (AP) — Black voters played a large role in defeating a prosecutor criticized by members of the black community for his handling of an investigation into the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy shot by a white officer, according to a newspaper analysis.
The analysis of voting trends by Cleveland.com shows that 70 percent of voters in majority black precincts in the county voted for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty’s opponent, Michael O’Malley, a former assistant county prosecutor who is a suburban safety director. O’Malley received about 56 percent of the vote overall in the Democratic primary and nearly 64 percent in Cleveland.
Because there were no Republican candidates on the ballot, O’Malley is expected to take office in January. Both McGinty and O’Malley are white.
McGinty did not respond to requests for comment Friday about the analysis.
Black leaders, ministers and the black community at-large raised their voices in opposition to McGinty before and after a grand jury in late December declined to indict Cleveland Patrolman Timothy Loehmann for shooting Tamir, who was killed while playing with a pellet gun outside a city recreation center in November 2014.
McGinty said after the grand jury decision he recommended that Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, who also is white, not be charged. The officers had responded to a 911 call about a man waving a gun and pointing it at people. The officers were never told that the 911 caller also said the man might be a juvenile and that the gun, a realistic-looking replica, could be a fake.
Tamir was shot by Loehmann within two seconds of the officers’ police cruiser skidding to a stop near the boy.
The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party refused to endorse either candidate. U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Ohio’s most influential black politician, endorsed O’Malley.
McGinty was a former assistant county prosecutor and longtime county judge before he announced in late 2011 that he was running for prosecutor. He defeated a crowded field in the 2012 Democratic primary with 35 percent of the vote and collected 80 percent in the November general election against a black attorney who ran as independent.