COLUMBUS (WCMH)–The police investigation into the shooting death of 13-year-old Tyre King will probably take weeks.
Columbus police have a critical incident response team that investigates police-involved shootings. Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs says the department will gather all the evidence and statements from witnesses, including the police officers.
“We will all make that part of the investigation and all of that will be shared with the county prosecutor and then we also anticipate it will be shared with the grand jury down the road,” Jacobs said.
Bryan Mason, the officer who fired multiple shots at Tyre King, remains on administrative leave.
Police say Mason was among a number of officers who responded to a call of an armed robbery on Wednesday night. The officers chased several suspects. A police news release says King pulled a gun from his waistband. The gun recovered at the scene was a BB gun.
Earlier this summer, a Supreme Court-appointed task force studying the grand jury process in Ohio issued a report recommending that all Police Use of Lethal Force cases be investigated by the state attorney general.
Ohio State University law professor Ric Simmons, a member of the task force, says the panel concluded that a change is needed to restore public confidence.
“Something needs to change and not because we didn’t trust law enforcement or we didn’t trust county prosecutors but because there was a mistrust among the community of what was going on,” Simmons said.
Tammy Fournier Alsaada of the People’s Justice Project says the process used by Columbus Police is flawed.
“It’s a very weighted, one-sided process,” Fournier Alsaada said. “The prosecutor and the police are in a direct relationship and that’s a problem.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he will do whatever the General Assembly directs him to do, but has pointed out that even his office gets criticized in some cases of police-involved shooting investigations.
But the task force concluded the Attorney General’s office is a better option.
“The attorney general, although still being somewhat tied to law enforcement is at least one layer removed and won’t have that same close tie to law enforcement and there’ll be at least more of a sense that they’re doing their own independent investigation,” Simmons said.