A federal lawsuit has been settled in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at the hands of Ohio police.
The city of Cleveland has been ordered to shell out $6 million to Rice’s family. Terms of the settlement say the city does not acknowledge fault in the Black boy’s death, which occurred in November 2014, according to an announcement Monday in U.S. District Court.
Atlanta Black Star reported the wrongful death suit was filed in December 2014. It claimed the officers acted recklessly when they confronted Rice, as Officer Timothy Loehmann, who responded to a call, fired at the boy within seconds. Police on the scene failed to immediately respond to his wounds, waiting four minutes before providing medical attention. Loehmann supposedly thought Rice was pulling out a gun. Soon after the shooting made headlines, former sheriff’s Lt. Roger A. Clark made a report saying Rice’s death was avoidable.
Last December, a prosecutor decided not to indict Loehmann or his trainer, Officer Frank Garmback, in Rice’s shooting death. A key deciding factor was Loehmann’s perception that the gun was real even though it was revealed to be a toy. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said the incident was a “perfect storm of human error.”
Rice’s family was not pleased with this outcome. They issued a statement that read in part, “even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, Prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers and tell the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified. It is unheard of, and highly improper, for a prosecutor to hire “experts” to try to exonerate the targets of a grand jury investigation.”
But in January, it was revealed a Cleveland grand jury never voted to indict Loehmann or Garmback. Reports also revealed the city was helping police who were guilty in similar cases avoid paying victim’s families.