The city of Cleveland has asserted that the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was the boy’s own fault, claiming also that “losses” suffered by his family members were the result of their actions in the aftermath of the controversial shooting.
In court papers filed Friday as a response to a wrongful death suit brought by Tamir Rice’s family, the city asserted that Rice failed to “exercise due care to avoid injury.” According to CBS News, the city offered 20 defenses in the case, sparked when police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback responded to a November 22 call about a man with a gun. Tamir Rice, who was holding a pellet gun, was shot within two seconds of the police arriving on the scene, as the Inquisitr has previously reported. Rice died the next day from his injuries.
— The_News_DIVA (@The_News_DIVA) March 1, 2015
The response also asserted that complaints brought against the city on behalf of Rice’s sister and mother were not caused by the officers, but instead by their own actions. The family’s suit has alleged that police tackled Rice’s 14-year-old sister, Tajai, placing her in a patrol car and allegedly forcing Tamir’s mother to choose between riding with her injured son or detained daughter, according to NBC News.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) March 1, 2015
Rice’s family first filed suit in December, as an eight-page long wrongful death complaint that named both of the officers involved and the city of Cleveland. After changing their legal team, however, and retaining civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, Tamir Rice’s relatives amended their suit, which is 65-pages-long in its new form, leveling 27 complaints against those involved.
The lawsuit further claims that Cleveland city officials are “withholding substantial evidence and information” in Tamir Rice’s case, a charge the city has denied in its response. Citing an ongoing Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s investigation into Rice’s death, it claimed that there is too little information available at this time to address the truth of allegations that the police stood by and failed to provide medical assistance to Rice.
— POLITICO (@politico) February 23, 2015
In December, the Department of Justice released the results of an investigation conducted prior to Tamir Rice’s death that found Cleveland police exhibited a pattern of excessive force.
[Image via Twitter/@PoliticalAnt]