City of Cleveland Claims Tamir Rice Died Because of His Own Actions

City of Cleveland Claims Tamir Rice Died Because of His Own Actions

The city of Cleveland says the 12-year-old's death and his family's subsequent pain and suffering were the result of his own actions and a failure "to exercise due care to avoid injury."

Published March 3, 2015

Update: Tuesday, March 3, 2:52 p.m.

Tamir Rice's mother said that she finds the city of Cleveland was "disrespectful" for claiming that her son was responsible for his death, AP reports on Tuesday. On Monday afternoon, the city's mayor, Frank Jackson, apologized for the wording of the official court documents.

The report will be altered, the mayor said in a statement. "We are sincerely apologetic for our misuse and mischaracterization of our answer to that complaint," he said.

"I have not yet received an apology from the police department or the city of Cleveland in regards to the killing of my son. And it hurts," Samaria Rice said, according to AP.

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The city of Cleveland is claiming it is not responsible for the death and "subsequent complaints for damages" of a 12-year-old Black boy who had a replica gun when he was fatally shot by police, AP reports.

According to court documents, Tamir Rice's injuries and the pain and suffering of his family were the result of his own actions and a failure to "exercise due care to avoid injury." The city also claims it did not violate the boy's federal rights and is entitled to certain legal immunities, AP reports.

Those claims are reportedly among 20 defenses in Cleveland's response to the federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Rice's family in January.

“What they said is incredulous at best. It’s unbelievable,” said Walter Madison, one of the family’s attorneys, during an interview with the Washington Post on Monday. He noted that the city’s response was further proof of police arrogance.

“There are a number of things that we in society don’t allow 12-year-olds to do," said Madison. "We don’t allow them to vote, we don’t allow them to drink. In court we don’t try them as adults. They don’t have the capacity to understand the consequences of their actions.”

The controversial shooting occurred last November when rookie Officer Timothy Loehmann and another officer responded to a 911 call alerting cops about about a boy playing with a gun near a recreation center. The caller reportedly indicated that the gun was likely a toy.

As confirmed in the video footage of the incident, the officers arrived on the scene and, within seconds, Officer Loehmann shot Rice dead. Later reports revealed that the officer had been deemed emotionally unstable by another local police department.

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(Photo: David Mawwell/Landov)

Written by Patrice Peck

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