Following news that an Ohio grand jury will not indict the cops who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice, federal authorities released a statement insisting they're moving ahead with their own investigation into the matter.
The U.S. Attorney's Office of Northern Ohio, together with the FBI and Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, "have been monitoring the investigation that has been conducting regarding the death of Tamir Rice on Nov. 22, 2014," authorities said. "We will continue our independent review of this matter, assess all available materials and determine what actions are appropriate."
Federal investigators added that while their inquiry will continue,there exist"strict burdens and requirements imposed by applicable federal civil rights laws."
Rice's death made national headlines late last year after the boy was shot dead on a Cleveland playground. Officers there responded to a call about someone with a gun. An investigation later revealed that Rice was playing with a toy gun.
Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice twice "within seconds of reaching the park in a squad car driven by his partner, Frank Garmback."
The incident garnered attention nationwide, with activists expressing outrage and opprobrium for the officer's actions, citing an ongoing epidemic of civilians, particularly those of color, being shot dead by police officers nationwide.
Still, in Rice's case, local authorities in Cleveland said there was not enough evidence to charge the officers involved in the 12-year-old's death.