'No price can be put on a child's life', Mayor Jackson on $6M Tamir Rice settlement
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The video of the police shooting of 12 year old Tamir Rice has been played over and over. There is debate over what it proves. What did Officer
Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann know, what did they see and perceive, and how much of the blame belongs to the city. After settlement talks in Federal Court the answer is $6 million dollars.
The city shall pay $3,000,000 in 2016 and $3,000,000 in 2017.
Rice family lawyer Subodh Chandra could only speak in generalities saying, "The result speaks for itself in terms of the City of Cleveland's understanding of the magnitude of the situation."
"This is not easy for me personally or the city of Cleveland in general. I can't speak to how difficult it must have been for the family of Tamir Rice," said Mayor Frank Jackson.
There is no admission of wrongdoing, and all plaintiffs will execute full releases against the City of Cleveland and all individual defendants. Certainly mistakes were made.
On Nov. 22, Tamir Rice, 12, was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer after they received a report of a male with a gun outside of a Cleveland recreation center. Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback responded to the scene. Loehmann fired the shot that killed the 12-year-old.
The officers weren't told Tamir, while large was just a 12-year-old, and that the gun may have been a toy. The officer's approach was too close. Loehmann's failings while in the police academy hadn't been fully vetted by the city.
Chandra also believes the prosecutor's investigation was flawed, "When you have a prosecutor who fails to cross examine targets of a criminal investigation
and let them come in and read pre-written statements."
A grand jury decided on Dec. 28, 2015 not to indict the two officers involved in the shooting. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said the evidence did not warrant criminal charges.
It was a "perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunication by all involved that day," McGinty said.
NAACP President Michael Nelson issued a statement saying "This is the first step toward Justice for the Rice family." He too faults the lack of a criminal prosecution and says of the settlement, "It does create consequences for the egregious disregard of Tamir's constitutional rights by the City of Cleveland and it's safety forces."
"There's no closure of justice for a family even when there's a significant civil resolution as there is here," Chandra added.
After the settlement was announced. Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley said, "No amount of money in the world could replace the loss of a child or heal the emotional wounds and heart aches felt by the family and friends of Tamir Rice. This settlement only ends a civil proceeding. It does not end the grief we all carry from this tragic and untimely death of a 12-year-old boy."
Both sides have reached the following settlement, which is subject to approval by the probate court. The city shall pay $3,000,000 in 2016 and $3,000,000 in 2017.
"It is an obligation that you have and when you have an obligation you pay that," Mayor Frank Jackson said.
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