What If The Prosecutor Won’t File Charges? O.R.C. 2935.09
In a story that is breaking today, family members of Tamir Rice are seeking to skirt local prosecutors and ask a judge to issue warrants for murder against the police officers involved in the case. The lawyers, tired of waiting for prosecutors to take action, are relying on a rarely used Ohio law to expedite their effort to have two officers charged.
The cited statute — Ohio Revised Code 2935.09 — allows anyone with information about illegal activity to file an affidavit for an official to review. It was established in 1960 to give private citizens an avenue when they feel police are not doing anything about a crime.
“A private citizen having knowledge of the facts who seeks to cause an arrest or prosecution under this section may file an affidavit charging the offense committed with a reviewing official for the purpose of review to determine if a complaint should be filed,” the law reads in part. It is important to note that this matter will ultimately land in front of a grand jury with the prosecutor feeding them evidence upon which they will be required to act or not act. Many legal commentators see this move as a method of putting pressure on officials to act.
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