Tamir Rice, a 12-year old playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park on November 22, 2014 was shot by Cleveland officer Timothy Loehmann.
Tamir was holding a pellet gun and in video of the shooting, appears to point the weapon at police officers who were just arriving. The entire incident was videoed. See it HERE.
In the days following the Nov. 22 shooting, Rice’s family has alleged that the shooting was not justified and have sought to have officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Gamback held responsible. The officers were responding to multiple 911 calls describing, “male sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people.” Callers told 911 operators, that the gun may be fake, “probably a toy” said one caller.
Haven’t heard about this one? Here’s some you have:
First, there was the shooting of Michael Brown, an 18 year old in Ferguson, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb, by white police officer, Darren Wilson. Wilson alleges that the shooting was justified.
Leaders in the black community disagreed and protested with the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot campaign. There were riots. Rodney King style riots that lasted for days, embarrassed almost all involved and nearly decimated the Ferguson community. In December, the killing of two NYPD officers by a Maryland man in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn was called ‘retaliation’ by the perpetrator (who immediately committed suicide in a nearby subway station). Then there was the alleged murder of Eric Garner, also in NYC, who was questioned about selling individual cigarettes in the NYC streets. More Hands Up demonstrations…
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s investigation into Rice’s death is not finished, but that has not stopped Rice’s family from filing a wrongful death civil suit against the City of Cleveland. In fact, the family filed the lawsuit less than a month after Rice’s death. Then, unhappy with their first selection of legal counsel, they fired their attorneys and hired another set of attorneys, one from out of state. They will now be represented by Walter Madison of Akron and Ben Crump of Tallahassee, Florida.
The lawsuit says the Loehmann and Gamback “acted unreasonably, recklessly and with deliberate indifference to the safety and rights” of Tamir when they “confronted him in a surprise fashion and fired multiple shots at him without any adequate investigation.”
Now, the City of Cleveland has released their first reply to the complaint filed by the Rice family.
According to a Cleveland.com article filed February 27, 2015:
“The city, in its response wrote that Tamir’s death on Nov. 22 and all of the injuries his family claims in the suit “were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant.” It also says that the 12-year-old’s shooting death was caused “by the failure … to exercise due care to avoid injury.”
In essence, the City of Cleveland is saying that walking towards police while holding a black gun, especially a gun without the orange marker, might be a really BAD idea. (Without the orange insert covering the barrel, officers were likely to conclude that they were in danger of being shot). Though indirectly, the City is suggesting that MAYBE even a 12 year-old should know this to be extremely ill-advised.
In other words, maybe the person who exhibited the ‘failure… to exercise due care to avoid injury” and the alleged victim are the, yes, same person. Could the one person responsible for Tamir Rice’s death, be, you got, it. It COULD just be Tamir Rice.
The Rice family disagrees and continues to demand that the Sheriff’s office investigation be concluded, even if doing so, would be hasty.
Could Tamir Rice possibly be responsible for his own death? The City of Cleveland thinks that he was. In fact, you might say they feel this way, uh, hands down.
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