Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has criticized an Ohio grand jury's decision Monday not to indict two police officers in connection with the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. “I think we need to have a federal investigation to take a hard look at that. But I will also tell you that we need, nationally, to take a hard look at the use of force,” Sanders told MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry Monday.
Rice was shot in November 2014 by Officer Timothy Loehmann, who has said he believed the child was a threat due to his size and because the toy gun Rice was carrying looked real. After the shooting, Loehmann and fellow officer Frank Garmback realized the gun was a toy.
Sanders, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, has spoken out about police shootings before and has made criminal justice reform an important aspect of his platform. Earlier this month, he called for an investigation into the Chicago Police Department after a video of police officers shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was released in November. The Vermont senator also called on Chicago officials to resign if they were involved in suppressing the video, and questions continue to arise about how long Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel knew the details of the video.