CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The family of two children who were hurt in a high speed police chase are now suing the City of Cleveland.
Zandra Mason filed the lawsuit on behalf of her 13-year-old twins, Zelda and Zachery Mason.
The twins witnessed their friend Tamia Chappman being hit and killed by a car during a police chase from Cleveland to East Cleveland on Dec. 20, 2019.
Mason said her children are still extremely traumatized.
“They scream when we ride down the street like if someone gets too close,” Zandra Mason said.
Stanley Jackson, the attorney representing Mason, said Zelda was holding Tamia’s hand as they were walking down the street that day.
“Zelda was with Tamia when a car hit them. Zelda got back up and, adrenaline allowed her to get up a little bit and tried to pick Tamia up telling her come on, let’s go and she witnessed Tamia laying there lifeless,” Jackson said.
Mason said her daughter suffered from a back injury and serious head trauma.
The lawsuit names at least 17 police officers, claiming they were negligent in the pursuit of the carjacking suspect that day.
Mason told 19 News she doesn’t want another family to go through what she’s going through.
“We’re at a loss for words as to how Cleveland police, the officers involved could’ve valued that car, that property, the retrieval of it, and catching these individuals, over the lives of these children,” Jackson added.
Mason said Zelda and Zachery have been in therapy, but they are still emotionally, physically and mentally struggling with the loss of their friend and what they witnessed.
19 News reached out to the City of Cleveland but didn’t hear back. Tamia Chappman’s family filed a lawsuit against the city in May 2020.
Jackson said the Office of Professional Standards will discuss the chase during its virtual hearing next Tuesday.