Success! Tamir Rice’s Family Will Receive $6 Million

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was in a park near his Cleveland home on November 22, 2014, playing with his pellet gun. Somebody noticed the child and phoned 911, but cautioned that the boy might only be holding a toy gun.

The police didn’t hear the part about the gun probably being fake, but a police car pulled up quickly, and two officers got out.

Maybe it wasn’t so easy for Officer Timothy Loehmann to see that Tamir was holding a toy weapon in his hands and not an actual firearm, but the Cleveland officer solved the problem permanently by opening fire on the youngster within two seconds.

An ambulance was called to the scene to take the injured child to the hospital. Tamir died the next day. 

Outraged at this incident and what has followed since then, particularly when Cleveland asked Tamir’s family to pay for that ambulance ride, Tee Yvonne created a Care2 petition demanding that the city of Cleveland drop the ambulance fee and settle with the family.

Success

That petition has garnered over 60,000 signatures, and on April 25, we learned that it was successful. Here’s the update:

Success! Cleveland has waived ambulance fees and today it also settled a lawsuit brought by the family of young Tamir Rice, who was killed last year by a city police officer within seconds of the officer’s arrival. Thanks to the efforts of you and other caring people, the city has agreed to pay the family $6 million for their loss. Money can’t make up for a child’s death, but your efforts helped secure some measure of justice for this grieving family.

 The settlement was mediated via the Eastern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

It is difficult to use the word “success” after the needless death of a child, something that even Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson acknowledged. As NPR reports, Jackson spoke at a press conference after the settlement was announced, saying although the legal side of the case has been covered, “there is no price that you can put on the life lost of a 12-year-old child.”

Nevertheless, Tee Yvonne’s Care2 petition has succeeded, in that she asked Mayor Jackson to rescind the ambulance charges, and to settle the civil suit brought by Tamir Rice’s family, and this is exactly what happened on the morning of April 25. A big “thank you” to all the Care2 members who signed in support of this important petition.

According to The New York Times, this is the biggest ever settlement by Cleveland in a police-related civil lawsuit, though it’s important to note that the city does not admit wrongdoing.

Numerous Insulting Moves Made by the City of Cleveland

As Tee Yvonne’s petition points out, there were numerous insulting moves by the city, in addition to the ambulance charge.

Cleveland has:

  • Billed the family for the storage of Tamir’s body; and
  • Insinuated that the family’s civil suit against the city was little more than a cash grab; and
  • Blamed the child for his own murder, saying that that Tamir had not shown sufficient caution in the two-seconds before he was shot by a police officer who had previously been fired by another department for failing to meet that community’s standards for law enforcement skills.

As if all this were not enough for the family to deal with, Tamir Rice’s death was ruled a homicide in December 2014, and yet a year later, a grand jury declined to indict either Loehmann or his partner Frank Garmback.

A month after the shooting it was revealed that Loehman had been found to be unfit for duty while working as an officer in Independence, Ohio, prior to joining the Cleveland department. 

As for that ambulance fee, “The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill — its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir — is breathtaking,” [Rice family attorney Subodh] Chandra said. “This adds insult to homicide. The Rice family considers this a form of harassment.”

Thank You, Care2 Activists

Coming a few months after the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City, outrage over Tamir Rice’s death helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement. You may recall that grand juries also declined to indict officers in the deaths of Brown and Garner.

While nothing can bring Tamir Rice back to life, we hope that this settlement will give his family some measure of comfort and closure.

Thank you so much, Tee Yvonne, for creating your petition, and thank you to all those activists who have fought hard to secure justice for Tamir Rice.

Photo Credit: Complex News / YouTube

122 comments

Peter H
Peter H11 months ago

Typical the law covering the backsides of the police, disgusting.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

I'm sorry, I don't think those cops did anything wrong. This kid did not obey the cop's command to drop the gun. Had he done that, he would still be alive.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran1 years ago

thank goodness

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New G.
W. C1 years ago

Thank you.

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Angela Ray
Angela Ray1 years ago

Good!!!

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Miriam Site issues

Thank you very much for sharing! Awesome!

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Saeeda M.
Saeeda Makhlooq1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Saeeda M.
Saeeda Makhlooq1 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Very sad story and thankfully they didn't get away with it.

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FOTEINI HORBOU
FOTEINI horbou1 years ago

VICTORY!

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