Cleveland Settles With Tamir Rice's Family for $6M
Cleveland will pay Tamir Rice's family $6 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit after Rice was shot and killed by a police officer in 2014. It represents the city's largest settlement in a police-related lawsuit, but the city admitted no wrongdoing in the 12-year-old's shooting, which occurred while he was playing with a toy gun in a park.
The settlement is on par with other police misconduct claims nationwide, and was a long time coming for the Rice family.
The Cost of Police Misconduct
Cities from coast to coast have been paying seven-figures settle claims of police misconduct and wrongful death:
- Baltimore paid $6.4 million after Freddie Gray died from a spinal cord injury during a "rough ride" while in police custody;
- New York City paid $5.9 million after Eric Garner was choked to death by police officers attempting to arrest him;
- Oakland paid $4.5 million after Occupy protestor Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull from a bean bag projectile fired by police; and
- Atlanta paid $4.9 million after 92-year-ol Kathryn Johnson was shot during a botched drug raid on her home.
Although accusations of police misconduct are not unique to Cleveland, the Department of Justice completed an investigation last year that found the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) "engages in a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution."
The Loss of a Loved One
Attorneys representing Rice's estate, Jonathan S. Abady and Earl S. Ward, released a statement saying, "no amount of money can adequately compensate" the boy's family: "In a situation like this, there's no such thing as closure or justice ... Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who knew and loved him that can never be filled."
Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson said the settlement was "not easy for me personally or the city in general," but was necessary to protect "the rights of the city and its taxpayers." "At the end of the day," he said, "a 12-year-old child lost their life, and that should not have happened in the city of Cleveland. It should not have happened."
- Cleveland Trying to Avoid Paying for Police Misconduct (FindLaw Blotter)
- Crowdfunding Police Brutality Cases: Justice or Just a Business? (FindLaw Blotter)
- Injured by Police? 10 Legal Reminders About Your Rights (FindLaw's Injured)
- BART Settles with Oscar Grant's Mom for $1.3M (FindLaw's Injured)