Cleveland to pay $6 million to family of Tamir Rice

Posted at 11:05 AM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 11:05:01-04

The city of Cleveland will pay $6 million to settle the federal lawsuit filed by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy killed by police gunfire in November 2014, according to a settlement announced Monday in U.S. District Court.

According to terms of the settlement, the city acknowledges no fault in Tamir’s death, which came after a 911 caller told of someone brandishing what appeared to be a toy gun in a city park.

Officer Timothy Loehmann, a trainee, shot Tamir moments after arriving in response to the call. Police said the boy was pulling out what was later found to be a toy gun when he was shot.

In December, a grand jury declined to indict Loehmann or his trainer, Officer Frank Garmback, in Tamir’s death. The grand jury concluded that the shooting was a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and communications” but not a criminal act, prosecutor Tim McGinty said at the time.

The family’s January 2015 wrongful death lawsuit argued the city was negligent in Tamir’s death.

The family said dispatchers should have told officers about a 911 caller’s statements that the gun Tamir had was likely a toy, that officers approached the scene too aggressively and Loehmann fired too quickly, and that they failed to help the boy after he had been shot.

The family also alleged that Loehmann wasn’t suited to be a police officer and that city failed to vet or supervise officers properly.

In response, the city said Tamir was at fault and maintained the city was entitled to immunity under state and federal law.

The city later apologized for the wording in its response, calling it hurtful and disrespectful.

The city will pay half of the money this year, and half next year, according to a document filed in court.

A probate judge must still approve the settlement, according to the document.