Cleveland Will Pay $6M to Tamir Rice’s Family

     CLEVELAND (CN) — The family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy gunned down by police while playing with a toy gun, reached a $6 million settlement Monday with Cleveland.
     Filed this morning with U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr., the one-page settlement order states that $5.5 million will be allocated to Tamir Rice’s estate and the remaining $500,000 will be split between Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, and his sister, Tajai Rice.
     In exchange, the Rice family and the estate administrator will execute full releases against the city of Cleveland and the individual defendants in the case.
     The settlement did not require the defendants to make any admission of wrongdoing.
     Rice’s family had brought the civil rights suit in December 2014, just two weeks after the tragic shooting outside the Cudell Recreation Center.
     Evidence showed that rookie officer Timothy Loehmann fired on Tamir less than two seconds after exiting a patrol car driven by his supervising officer, Frank Garmback.
     While the initial complaint named just those two officers as defendants, along with Cleveland, an amended version included a 911 call-taker and police dispatcher who failed to inform the officers that the “guy” with the gun was “probably a juvenile,” and that the gun was “probably fake.”
     Rice’s family also challenged Cleveland’s “reckless” decision to hire Loehmann after a different Cleveland-area police department forced him to resign for deficient performance.
     Five other police departments had all refused to hire Loehmann, and he failed the entrance exam for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff Department, according to the complaint.
     Attorneys for the Rice family released a statement calling the settlement “historic in financial terms” but goes on to state that, “in a situation such as this, there is no such thing as closure or justice.”
     “It is the sincere hope of the Rice family that Tamir’s death with stimulate a movement for genuine change in our society and our nation’s policing to that no family ever has to suffer a tragedy such as this again,” the statement continues.
     The settlement comes four months after grand jury proceedings ended without an indictment.
     Rice’s family was represented in the civil matter by the law firms Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady; the Chandra Law Firm; and Billy Joe Mills.$

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