Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty on Dec. 28, 2015
Michael O'Malley was sworn in as the county prosecutor yesterday, and with that we watch Timothy McGinty saunter out the back door of the Justice Center. He stopped for a moment for an interview with Cory Shaffer at Cleveland.com, and it's a good read while we rest at this Cuyahoga County crossroads.
Two main takeaways: McGinty defends his Tamir Rice decision, saying that he knew it would cost him the primary election in 2016, and he gets into a particularly evocative description of how uncontrollable the heroin crisis has become here.
You should read the whole piece
(And while you're at it, read our interview with O'Malley
. We discussed the idea that the primary vote was a referendum on the Tamir Rice grand jury decision and we spent some time talking about drug prosecution and the conviction integrity unit.)
From Shaffer's interview with McGinty:
It wasn't that tough. There isn't an expert in America, and they were all consulted, that thought that wasn't the call. Nobody. No prosecutor. The New York Times called all kinds of experts and professors. There wasn't anybody that thought there was another call to make. On that evidence, that was the right call. Was it tough in the sense that it was a tragedy? It sure was. It was a terrible loss. Cleveland erred in many ways.
The biggest error was probably the dispatcher who made a unilateral decision not to tell the police that he was probably unarmed and that he was probably a kid. He could be a kid whatever the wording was. She said she decided herself that she didn't want to endanger the policemen. She wanted them to go full go, ready to go, not relaxed. But that's not a crime in anybody's book in any statute in any state. That's incompetence. But it's not a crime.