Denver DA helped killer cop walk free in Tamir Rice shooting

Who did Cleveland officials call when they needed an expert witness to justify a police officer gunning down a 12-year-old? Denver’s Deputy District Attorney S. Lamar Sims.

Denver DA helped killer cop walk free in Tamir Rice shooting
Denver Deputy District Attorney S. Lamar Sims told the jury reviewing the police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice that the shooting was “reasonable.”


The Cleveland police officer who gunned down and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice won’t be indicted for murder, thanks in part to grand jury testimony from Denver’s Senior Deputy District Attorney S. Lamar Sims.

Sims told the jury reviewing the case that the killing of the child holding a pellet gun was “reasonable.”

Sims wasn’t testifying as a paid representative of the Denver District Attorney’s office, and he would not comment to The Colorado Independent about the Grand Jury investigation.

He also had no comment on whether or how much he was paid for his expert opinions.

Sims’ assessment that an officer killing a 12-year-old was reasonable isn’t exactly a shocker. After all, he works for an office that has not once, in over a decade, criminally prosecuted a killer cop — a series of decisions that has led to public outrage and even a recall-attempt on his boss, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.

Even when police killed unarmed 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez earlier this year, the Denver DA’s office, with Sims leading the review, deemed it “justified.” Also under Sims’ review, the office deemed sheriff’s deputies 2010 killing of Marvin Booker — a frail, homeless street preacher who presented no physical threat — “justified.”

The list of cases Sims has found justifiable goes on and on.

In the eyes of Cleveland officials defending that city in the Rice killing, Sims’ long record of deciding that police-killings are “reasonable” presumably helped qualify him as an expert witness — a hired gun who helped the officer walk free.

Photo credit: Seluryar, Creative Commons, Flickr

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About the Author

Kyle Harris

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  1. Val Roberts on said:

    First, thank you for responsible, factual, and pertinent reporting. Next, in support of taking action, is the deputy DA position an appointment of the DA and will the deputy DA be relinquished of the post upon election of a new DA?

  2. Will Morrison on said:

    I hope Mr Sims is proud to have taken money to justify the MURDER of a CHILD. I remember reading at the time that this HONORLESS SCUMBAG had done this, and I was about as disgusted as human can be. I hope your 30 pieces of silver bought you something REAL nice, and that every time you look at it, you picture the 1.7 SECONDS it took the cop to shoot Tamir after he got out of that car.

    Want to tell us just WHEN it was that the cop got out of the car, told Tamir to drop the weapon, moved to the back of the car and THEN fired? Because that is what the LYING SCUMBAG testilied to in court, even though the video shows absolutely NONE of that.

    The fundamental LACK of decency and humanity that Mr Sims actions AGAIN show is a blasted indication that he HAS TO GO. No matter HOW obvious it is that the cops are guilty, this JERK has NEVER seen fit to protect US from THEM. Who the HELL do WE go to when THIS is the level of JUSTICE we get? NONE!

    Denver, LOSE this jerk. Get a DECENT HUMAN BEING for the DA, and DON’T let any damned buddies of Morrissey in there EVER. He’s where the lead comes from, thank GOD he is term limited. he’s SCUM, just like this piece of crap is. LOSE SIMS, he’s VERMIN!

  3. Don Lopez on said:

    Do politics void normal human emotions? Or is a total lack of humanity a condition of employment at the Colorado Independent?

    The death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice is a human tragedy and nowhere in this tasteless piece is any sympathy expressed for those who knew, loved and tragically lost Tamir.

    Instead, the Colorado Independent has chosen to debase the memory of his short life by using his death to attack a man who was only peripherally involved in the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict a Cleveland police officer.

    The Colorado Independent should be ashamed of itself but shame, much like empathy, is apparently not a part of its corporate makeup.

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