On Monday, the city of Cleveland announced its decision to award the family of Tamir Rice with $6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the family over the child’s 2014 shooting death committed by a city police officer, Cleveland.com reports. Rice’s estate will receive $5.5 million, while his mother, Samaria Rice, and sister Tajai Rice will receive $250,000 a piece.
Soon after the announcement, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, Stephen Loomis, released a statement to the media suggesting that Rice’s family use a portion of the $6 million settlement with the city to educate children about the dangers of playing with fake guns in hopes of preventing another senseless tragedy.
“We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms,” Loomis wrote in the release. “Something positive must come from this tragic loss. That would be educating youth of the dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm.”
Rice was fatally shot by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann in November 2014 while playing with a toy gun. Mediaite reports that a 911 caller witnessed a “guy” pointing a gun at a nearby recreation center, noting that the gun was probably fake, but still needed to be checked out, as the orange cap usually visible on replica firearms had been removed. A surveillance video captured the moment the rookie officer and his partner Frank Garmback, who was driving, sped up to Rice’s location and shot him dead on site.
In December 2015, an Ohio grand jury decided not to indict Loehmann, calling the shooting “justified.” Rice’s family then filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Cleveland. The suit charged Officers Loehmann and Garmback for shooting the 12-year-old “without any adequate investigation” and asserted that Rice was on the ground, alive, for four minutes, yet didn’t receive any medical attention, according to documents obtained by News Net 5. The suit also points out that Loehmann had previously been deemed unfit for service and condemned the city for acting “negligently, recklessly, intentionally, willfully, wantonly, knowingly and with deliberate indifference to the serious safety needs of the citizens of Cleveland.”
The CPPA offered their condolences to the Rice family and hopes to work with them to prevent similar incidents.
“We look forward to the possibility of working with the Rice family to achieve this common goal,” Loomis wrote.
The officers involved have yet to admit to any wrongdoing.