Cleveland issues new response to lawsuit filed by Tamir Rice’s family

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Tamir Rice (Photo Credit: Timothy Kucharski)

CLEVELAND- The city of Cleveland issued a new response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Cleveland police were called to the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22 for a report of a male with a gun. When officers arrived, they warned the 12-year-old before shooting him. Rice died the next day and the gun turned out to be airsoft.

The original response filed by the city of Cleveland in February said “Plaintiffs’ decedent’ injuries, losses, damages complained of, were directly and proximately caused the failure of Plaintiff’s decedent to exercise due to avoid injury.” It also stated Tamir Rice’s death was directly caused by his own actions, and not those of the city or police.

Those lines were removed from the new court documents following outrage from the family and the community. The latest response also blames others, including the person responsible for modifying the pellet gun.

Read Cleveland’s answer to the complaint here

“Their response has said a 12-year-old child was responsible for his own death,” said Rice family attorney Benjamin Crump during a news conference earlier this month.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also apologized for the language, saying it was insensitive to the family.

In response to the Friday statement, the attorney for Tamir Rice’s family said:

“Anything other than accepting responsibility and discussing ways of police reformation is unacceptable.  Speaking with the family, they ask what difference does it make if the orange tip was on or off, the video shows it [the airsoft pistol]  never left his waistband.”

Continuing coverage here.